ClaroPDF V1.8 Released

The latest version of ClaroPDF is now available in the App Store!

What’s New in V1.8?

  • iCloud Integration: ClaroPDF is now fully integrated with iCloud Drive so you can save to, and open from your iCloud Drive across all of your iOS devices. You can also quickly save and open documents from other compatible apps using the iCloud Drive feature
  • New My Documents list: There is a brand new My Documents list in V1.8. This new documents list is smoother, faster and organises your documents alphabetically into sections. D
  • Search – there is now a search bar so you can search for documents.
  • Improved rename, move and delete features – these features have an improved UI and it is now possible to move/delete multiple documents simultaneously.
  • Improved the launch of ClaroPDF so it launches faster and cleaner.
  • Many other bug fixes and performance improvements.

Follow @ClaroPDF on Twitter for the latest news and hints & tips.

Check out The Codpasts recent review of our ClaroSpeak Plus App!

ClaroSpeak V2.5 Released

The latest version of ClaroSpeak is now available in the App Store!

What’s New in V2.5?

  • Rich text formatting. You can now bold, italicise, underline, bullet and add images to your ClaroSpeak document.
  • New layout settings. Change the character, line, paragraph spacing as well as the page margin to view text more easily.
  • More font types. A larger number of font types are available to use in settings.
  • Claro autocorrect. We’ve compiled a list of common misspellings which ClaroSpeak will use to correct what you type.
  • Open image files. Open image files in ClaroSpeak to begin the OCR process to convert the image into text.
  • Open in. Using the Export > ‘Open in…’ option allows you to open your document in other apps on your device which are capable of handling RTF files.
  • Print. Print is now an option in the export menu. Compatible with AirPrint printers.

Follow @ClaroSpeak on Twitter for the latest news and hints & tips.

Check out The Codpasts recent review of ClaroSpeak Plus!

ClaroCom Pro Review

ClaroCom Pro is an app from Claro Software designed for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), available on iOS for iPad or iPhone. An AAC app helps to replace speech or assist writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. Read more at claro-apps.com.

We’ve received the following helpful review of ClaroCom from Loretta and Krystal.

Loretta has limited use of natural speech so uses ClaroCom to communicate and says “ClaroCom has been highly beneficial with these new things I have to keep in mind about my voice and not over-using it”.

Krystal is unable to speak at all but is now leader of a volunteer call centre providing information technology help desk services to anyone who needs them. Krystal can consistently keep under an 8 minute call time averaging about 5-6 minutes when the goal is 10 minutes using nothing but text to speech (ClaroCom).

ClaroCom Pro AAC App Review by Loretta and Krystal, 11th August 2014

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT an expert in alternative and augmentative communications (AAC) solutions. What works for myself or Krystal MIGHT NOT be the best choice for everyone else. Furthermore the opinions expressed herein are those of myself or Krystal as appropriate. We have no affiliation with the developers of any application mentioned and we were not “bought” to make these opinions, we came to them from actual experience with the products mentioned.

Man… Krystal had me on an adventure into the deep dark corners of the iOS App store. This assignment was because she finally said “it’s time for a communications upgrade for me! A dedicated AAC app is in order!” so off into the app store I went looking for free apps. There were truly free and the “free apps that are just to show you what the paid version can do”. I only focused on the apps that required a zero dollar investment to install.

Two days ago I spent close to 6 hours testing installing and configuring close to 80 different apps from the app store. There was the good, the bad, and the downright incomprehensible. There were those that were feature packed and those that could use a little more meat on the bones.

I was just about ready to call it a night for testing when through an unlikely search I found an app I fell in love with (see Note 1) and was sure Krystal would too. This app is called ClaroCom.  The free version is only limited in a few “minor use” functions… nothing too bad (see Note 2). The free ClaroCom app comes populated with close to 1,024 pre-canned messages in several different categories from restaurants, technology, medical, entertainment, general phrases, and many others. I could add my own phrases to any of these categories and have them be dynamic or static.

A static phrase is something that has no variables like “my name is Loretta, I live on Maple drive in no where California”. Something that never needs revision based on context. A dynamic phrase is kind of like that game madlibs and textually looks like this “I need to know if Dr. ___ has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.” If I had multiple doctors this might allow for something like “I need to know if Dr. (Briggs, Shay, Benson, Puckett, Jones) has any available appointments on or before (next Friday, the 15th, June 1st,) in the (morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening).” where any of those items in the parentheses could fill in that part of the sentence or request.

For dynamic speech the ClaroCom dialog will pop up asking “fill in the first blank…” if there’s only one blank, just fill it in. If there is more than one it steps you through them in order. When you fill the first blank and then it asks you to fill the next it shows you the statement up to the blank so in my doctor example first “I need to know if Dr. ___ has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.”, then “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.” then “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before next Tuesday in the ___.” and finally “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before next Tuesday in the late afternoon.”

These message creation wizards make even dynamic content creation even easier!

ClaroCom USA comes with two voices by default (one male and one female) both better quality than what most “computer voices” are known for (especially if you grew up in the 1990’s) and tons of options to configure the app to the user needs.

The ClaroCom “Pro” USA version is decently priced at 14 bucks and adds a few extra little “nice to haves”. I fell in love with the free version which had its limitations so wound up later buying the pro version for the extra value.

I gave a presentation to Krystal to see if she liked the app or could find some use for it yesterday. She was absolutely in love with it. She downloaded the free version and tested it and has plans to support the developer by buying the pro version next month.

Note 1: the features I fell in love with are the “madlib style” dynamic content creation, the high quality voices, and the ease of use.

Note 2: the “value added features” that made the ClaroCom Pro version all the more attractive were among other things:

  • custom categories: which makes grouping pre-canned messages into categories that make the most sense for me. This also useful so I can have all my stuff specific to say burger king or the call center in it’s own category.
  • bulk-add: the adding of messages to the phrase list was easy, but with bulk-adding I can populate a new category with less effort.
  • Post to facebook or twitter: this handy little feature allows me to post up my Wendy’s order or the text version of any utterance to Facebook or Twitter. Krystal loved that demo because in her words “the less apps I have to keep open the better… if I don’t have to leave my speech screen to do something I do already, even easier!”

so yeah… the Pro version in my eyes is well worth it!

ClaroCom App Store Links

UK

USA

Claro MagX Updated

ClaroMagX

 

Claro MagX turns your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad into a powerful high definition visual magnifier. Claro MagX makes small items bigger. Make small text in books and newspapers readable, study and photograph small objects and labels, see menus in the dimly lit restaurant. The wide range of magnification, high contrast and colour viewing options makes the text easier on your eyes.

Claro MagX has been updated with our ‘Freeze Mode’. Tap the viewfinder to freeze the image for closer viewing. Tap the screen to release the freeze.

Find out more at our claro-apps webpage.

ClaroLingo – complete speaking interpreter and translation solution app

ClaroLingo_email

ClaroLingo is a complete speaking interpreter and translation solution, including 22 of the famous Collins Phrasebook phrases – All in one App!

ClaroLingo is a great app for teachers, frequent travellers, business travellers, hotel reception, customer assistance staff, recruitment, medical support staff and more.

With ClaroLingo you can search any word or phrase in your first language and see translation in your chosen language. You can have any new phrase translated over the internet. Add new phrases into your own My Phrases folder.

Setup ClaroLingo with your language (from a choice of 25), and choose one of the 22 target phrasebook languages. Then ClaroLingo can be your interpreter, translator and speaker.

See more at the claro-apps webpage.

New Claro MagX App

New ClaroMag X App for iOS available now

ClaroMag X from  Claro Software

Claro MagX turns your iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPod Touch or iPad into a powerful high definition visual magnifier.

MagX makes small items look bigger. Make small text in books and newspapers readable, study and photograph small objects and labels, see menus in a dimly lit restaurant.

The wide range of magnification, high contrast and colour viewing options makes the text easier on your eyes.

Claro MagX is developed by experts in low vision technology, and we look to use the power of the iPhone and iPad to provide a high performance cost effective alternative to dedicated hand held video magnifiers.

MagX leverages the power and quality of the iPhone 5 and iPad iSight cameras, high resolution retina displays, large memory, processing power, built in accessibility features and long battery life.

Feature Summary

  • MagX has 16 levels of magnification with a maximum of 16x times zoom
  • MagX uses the high quality front facing iSight camera (iPhone 5 iSight Camera is 8 megapixel resolution, iPad iSight Camera is 5 megapixel resolution)
  • MagX takes advantage of the high resolution Retina displays on the iPhone 5 (1136×640 pixel display resolution, 4 inch widescreen) and iPad (2048×1536 pixel display resolution, 9.7 inch backlit)
  • Torchlight option using the inbuilt flash (iPhone and iPod Touch only)
  • MagX allows a photograph to be taken, capturing a magnified document for later viewing. Photographs are stored in the large iPhone or iPad Photo Gallery, from where they can be zoomed further or edited.
  • Advanced visual features include full colour mode, two colour mode and grey scale mode. There is also an invert function to change display contrast.
  • The grey scale and two colour mode allows a colour overlay to be chosen from yellow, purple, cyan, red, green or blue.

MagX is easy to use, with a small number of touch controls that are fully Apple iOS VoiceOver speech compliant.

Transmit the magnified image from MagX to a large TV with ease. We recommend Apple TV for easy wireless display of your iPad or iPhone display to any TV with HDMI input.

See more images and videos at www.claro-apps.com

More Information

To find out more go to the Claro MagX Web Page

For more information about the rest of Claro Software’s range of apps, go to www.claro-apps.com, email sales@clarosoftware.com or call +44 (0)1772 977888.

New ClaroPDF App for iOS available now

ClaroPDF from  Claro Software

ClaroPDF is an accessible, professional and user-friendly PDF Viewer, Reader and Annotator for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
View text PDF files and listen to them with a human-quality voice and synchronised highlighting. Annotate and mark up text or image PDF files.

ClaroPDF is designed as an accessible productivity, reading and study PDF tool for all.

Speech, Productivity And Accessibility

To support accessibility and productivity, ClaroPDF features built in human quality text-to-speech English voices with a range of synchronised coloured highlighting options. A Speak in Background option lets you listen to a PDF while viewing another app – great for proofreading accessible text PDF files, listening to content whilst working in other apps, or even listening via Bluetooth speakers. The speaking rate can be up to 360 words per minute, and the Speak on Tap option makes speech easy to use. Over 40 additional voices are available in 27 different languages (full list on website) through low cost In App purchase, so you can easily customise ClaroPDF speech to suit your preference and languages. The voices are all built into the app so an Internet connection is NOT needed to speak text.

ClaroPDF allows the background colour of the PDF to be changed, to enhance readability. ClaroPDF also fully supports iOS VoiceOver. PDF image files cannot be spoken by ClaroPDF voices, but can be fully viewed and annotated with ClaroPDF.

Annotations, Notes And Comments

ClaroPDF includes a powerful Annotation toolbar that lets you add notes and other comments. These are fully interchangeable with Adobe Reader and most other popular PDF programs, so your ClaroPDF comments will still be there if you open the PDF on another computer. Annotations created in another program can also be viewed and edited.

Annotation features include:

  • Highlight
  • Underscore
  • Strikeout
  • Notes
  • Free Text (type straight into the PDF)
  • Free line draw (with many colours, opacity and thickness control)
  • Shapes (Circle, Square, Line – with many colours, opacity and thickness control)
  • Images (insert Photos from your iPad Camera or Photo Library into the PDF file)

Smart Zoom

On double-tap, ClaroPDF will identify the tapped text block and perform an intelligent zoom on it, just as you’re used to in Safari. This reduces how much you have to adjust the zoom manually. The autoscroll option moves the text up the page automatically.
Full-Text Search And Navigation

Search will search across your whole document, highlight all found results, and let you jump straight to each one in turn. ClaroPDF shows each page of a multi-page PDF document as a Thumbnail, allowing for fast scrolling of long documents. The Thumbnails auto hide when not needed.

Managing PDF Files

PDF files can be opened in ClaroPDF from all other apps, including PDF email attachments or PDFs found in web pages. All opened PDF files will be placed in the ClaroPDF Gallery for later viewing. You can also open files from DropBox, or import PDF files via iTunes. PDF files can be Saved into the Gallery, back into DropBox, sent by e-mail, or opened in other apps supporting the PDF file format. ClaroPDF offers the option to email or forward the PDF in a ‘flattened format’ with annotations made permanent, or send the whole file with editable annotations for further review by others.

ClaroRead Compatibility

ClaroRead Pro and Plus for Windows can scan paper into accessible PDF files, retaining the original page image. These PDF files can be opened and spoken in ClaroPDF.

More Information

To find out more about our apps go to the Claro-Apps Web Page

For more information about the rest of Claro Software’s range of apps, go to
www.claro-apps.com, email sales@clarosoftware.com or call +44 (0)1772 977888.

Education app of the week: ClaroSpeak for iPad

There are plenty of reading and text dictation apps out there, but the best one we’ve found for dyslexia sufferers, SEN and pupils with reading difficulties has to be ClaroSpeak. With a load of customisation and import options, here’s why we’re recommending it to schools…

What is ClaroSpeak?

On the surface, ClaroSpeak (Claro Software Limited, £3.99) is a reader/text dictation app that will read out loud any text you import into it in what Claro call “human-sounding high-quality voices”. Where it gets interesting is the level of customisation – it allows you to import a text file, set up a wide range of font types and sizes, colours and backgrounds, and then have the text read to you, with each sentence highlighted in a choice of colours as it’s read. It also allows you to edit the text and then export it as text or as a spoken audio file.

How could it benefit the classroom?

The place we could see this making the most impact is with pupils with reading difficulties, be it SEN, dyslexia or even ESL – having English language text read aloud does wonders for those learning English as a second language. As you can customise the backgrounds and styles, you can make the text a lot less cluttered and busy, so that it’s easier to read, and the actual speaking voices are really quite accurate. There are male and female British English voices and, intriguingly, French and Spanish as well. The ability to load a piece of French text, and have it read back in a good French accent, while highlighting the spoken text might make this interesting in Modern Foreign Languages too!

What’s the best feature?

One of the most remarkable features of ClaroSpeak is that you can open text directly from Dropbox. This might not sound like a massive thing, but many apps like Evernote require you to export from Dropbox, rather than importing from within the app. That means a lot less hassle when sharing documents with pupils, as you can send out files via Dropbox, then open them up within ClaroSpeak, without having to exit the app and open up the Dropbox app.

What’s also interesting is that Claro have just updated ClaroSpeak to make it read out loud in the background. Now, you can exit the app and get on with other stuff like taking notes, while ClaroSpeak still reads the document back to you from the dock.

Where can I get it?

You can download ClaroSpeak (Claro Software Ltd, £3.99) either from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes. It’s not free, but if you’re buying more than 20 instances of the app, you can get a 50% discount under Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme, making it just £1.99.

More Information

ClaroCom – New Communicator App From Claro Software

ClaroCom from  Claro Software

ClaroCom and ClaroCom Pro are the new apps from Claro Software designed for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), available on iOS for iPad or iPhone. An AAC app helps to replace speech or assist writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.

ClaroCom has an easy-to-use user interface that is appropriate for users who face challenges with social communication. ClaroCom helps AAC users to communicate with people outside their family in a variety of social situations.

ClaroCom Pro adds more powerful editing, privacy and communication features to the high-quality speech, user-editable phrases, and word prediction found in ClaroCom.

ClaroCom is available via the Apple App Store and is free for a limited time only!

To see ClaroCom in action view our overview video:

Watch the ClaroCom Overview Video

ClaroCom Or ClaroCom Pro

Can’t decide which app would best suit you? Check out our comparison chart below to help you decide.

ClaroCom versus ClaroCom Pro – All versions of ClaroCom have two text-to-speech voices, word prediction, phrase banks, messaging, and the ability to add your own phrases individually. ClaroCom Pro also has the ability to add phrases in bulk, post to FaceBook and Twitter, and flip the screen for private communication. Full details at www.claro-apps.com

To Purchase ClaroCom Visit The App Store

More Information

To find out more about ClaroCom go to the ClaroCom Web Page

To find out more about ClaroSpeak go to the ClaroSpeak Web Page

To find out more about Claro Apps go to the Claro Apps Website

Introducing ClaroSpeak

Claro Software is pleased to announce the launch of our first app – ClaroSpeak

ClaroSpeak™ is the first assistive technology app from Claro Software, available on iOS for iPad or iPhone. ClaroSpeak is a high quality text-to-speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human high quality voices. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in sync with the spoken words – and a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading. ClaroSpeak is available in a wide range of languages and voices, for different countries, via the Apple App Store. ClaroSpeak is a quality app for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from any text.