Friday, February 21, 2014


Darwin Reader

Darwin Reader is an Android app for reading Bookshare e-books. So first let me briefly explain what Bookshare and print disabilities are. Bookshare is a digital library for individuals the print disabilities. A print disability means you cannot use regular printed materials for reading. Examples of print disabilities are blindness or dyslexia. Often people with print disabilities benefit from having the text read aloud to then. Bookshare provides e-books which can be read aloud on a computer or a digital device like a tablet or smart phone. Computers and digital devices have text-to-speech programs that can examine the text in an e-book and read this text aloud.

To read Bookshare e-books aloud the user needs a computer program or an app which uses text-to-speech to read the e-books aloud. Darwin Reader is an Android app the can download and read e-books from Bookshare. First in the upper right corner are three dots. Tap on the three dots will bring up a menu. One of the options is download a book. Tap on download. This will bring you to the Bookshare library. The search icon, a magnifying glass, allows you to search the library by author, title or subject. A list of books will appear. You can tap on any title to bring up a description of the book. If it is a book you would like to read tap on download. The e-book will be downloaded to your device.
Once downloaded the book appears in your library within the Darwin Reader. By tapping on a book title the book well be opened. You will see a arrow at the bottom of the page tapping this arrow starts reading. The best thing about Darwin Reader are the options you can choose for reading. Once again tap the three dots in the upper right corner. You will see settings. Tap settings. Inside settings you can adjust font size, font color, page background color, sentence highlight color and speed of the text-to-speech voice.

I particularly like the ability to customize the page and text colors. An example of my preferred colors is given below.  As you can see my main background color is dark green with light green text. These colors are very easy on my eyes. Additionally dyslexic individuals read better with different colored background than white and black text. My section color is blue and the reading highlight color is yellow. I especially like this highlight color since it makes the sentence standout. Unlike other readers that place a color overlay on the highlight text Darwin Reader actually changes the color of the text being read. This makes the sentence standout which means sentences are easy to track and you will not loose your place while reading. Dyslexic individuals often loose their place while reading. 
Font sizes can also be adjusted. Sizes run all the way from small to humongous. I like the very large size print. Voice speed can also be adjusted from 1 to 11. I prefer 5. On many Android tablets you can download a variety of voices for reading aloud. On the Kindle Fire the voice is from Ivona. Ivona voice is very clear and easy to listen to. Darwin Reader can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Price is $15. It is worth the price. I got the Darwin Reader on my Amazon Kindle Fire by purchasing Darwin Reader using my Android phone. Then I used APK Extractor to email the app to my Kindle Fire. In this way I legitimately paid for the app and could get it for my Kindle Fire. All-in-all I really love using Darwin Reader and can recommend it highly.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]