Voice Dream Reader

Last modified
Friday, March 6, 2020
Category

Description of App

Featured as Best New App in 81 countries including the United States and Apple App Store Permanent Collections in Education. “This app is one of the best educational finds of my entire career.” - Forbes “As a user myself and as a mother of a child with dyslexia, I am blown away by the features of Voice Dream.” - Quartz “Voice Dream Reader is hailed by many as the best mobile text-to-speech (TTS) app.” - Examiner Supported Document Formats - PDF, Plain text, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, RTF, and Google Docs. - Web articles. - EPUB eBooks. (DRM-free books only. Kindle and iBooks are not supported.) - Bookshare Books. - DAISY text-based books and audiobook. - Audiobooks in MP3, MP4 or zipped MP3 format. - Experimental rich text and image support for all documents. Text-to-Speech - One premium Acapela voice of your choice free with the purchase of the app. - 36 built-in iOS voices in 27 languages are also available for free. - 200+ additional premium voices in 30 languages from Acapela, NeoSpeech and Ivona available through in-app purchases. - Correct pronunciation with your own pronunciation dictionary. - All voices work offline and play in the background even with the screen locked. Reading Styles - Tee-up a list of articles and play while you drive, walk or run. - Spoken word is highlighted to improve comprehension and retention. - Auto-scrolling and full screen, distraction-free mode to help reader focus. - Finger reading. For beginners to read by at running a finger under each word. - Pac-Man. Harvard and MIT developed speed-reading method for everyone to read at 2x speed with no loss of comprehension. - High contrast and large font size for low vision readers. - Optimized for VoiceOver, Braille and switch control. Tools - Bookmarking, text highlighting and annotation. Highlights and notes can be exported as text. - Full-text search. - Built-in dictionary. - Skip text in PDF header and footer. Content Sources - Native support for Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote. - Native access to Bookshare. - Safari extension to save Web pages and Web addresses. - Support for Box and OneDrive via iOS Document Picker. Library Synchronization - Your entire library, including folders, reading locations, bookmarks and annotations are synchronized across all your devices using iCloud Drive. *IMPORTANT NOTE: It is not possible to load DRM protected ebooks. All books purchased on iBooks, Kindle and other commercial eBook platforms have DRM.

Version

4.10.2

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

No

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

Accessibility Comments

This is a very accessible app, and the developers seem truly committed to improving it. Organizing content is somewhat difficult and may require sighted assistance, but downloading and reading content works very well. As of the latest release, 2.7.2, the developer has fixed the issues noted below with regards to the inaccessibility of the text box. It is now possible to read by words, characters and lines through the text with voiceOver.

iOS Version

13.3.1

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

The samples for peter (happy) and peter (sad) which previously did not play are now working properly.

Developer's Twitter Username

@voicedreamapp

Recommendations

28 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by vulcansummer 5 days 23 hours ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Tangela on Thursday, December 20, 2012

All of the Acapela voices are available as in-app purchases. Read2Go, the official bookshare app, gives access to two of the US english voices, but their are tons more in this app, and they're only 2 dollars compared to the 10 or 20 that most apps charge for downloading those voices. You can preview all the Acapela voices at http://www.acapela-group.com/speech-synthesis-voices.html

Submitted by Igor on Saturday, December 22, 2012

One thing, which is definitely missing in this app is an ability to easily navigate inside the reading book. I have not find the way to skip back or forward a small amount of text. It is possible to use the slider at the buttom of the App to move by 10 percents of the book, however to skip several minutes, no chance, or at least I did not find the way to do so even after reading the help. Would be wanderful to have buttons to move back or forward for the predefined amount, would be even better to be able to configure those buttons in settings. Or at least to be able to fast forward or rewind while press and hold keys at the buttom of the book page. Will try to contact developer to see, if such changes could be implemented.

Submitted by Tangela on Sunday, December 23, 2012

Although a fast forward option would be quite useful, their are actually two ways of navigating through books. First, the search feature lets you search for specific text in the book. Each result is followed by a play button which you can press to instantly move you to the specified location in the book. Furthermore, in formatted books, such as those downloaded from bookshare, their is a button called "bookmarks" when you are inside the book, most easily accessed by touching the play-pause button and 1-finger flicking to the left. There you can access either predefined bookmarks, such as chapters, or user defined custom bookmarks. Hope this helps.

I have just contacted the developer of the App, so hopefully they will be able to provide the ability to skip some text inside the reading book. The ability to search and bookmarks are definitely useful features, however I don't think, they will help if you need to skip backward or forward 2 pages, or I just realized, I have missed something at the beginning of last page and would like to come back to re-read it.

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Sunday, December 23, 2012

Do any of you know whether bookshare has sanctioned the use of voice dream reader to read out the bookshare books? Given the fact that they have their own app, they may not allow third-party developers access. I don't know.

There are other apps out there which read bookshare content, such as Indaisy and Daisy Worm. At least, I'm pretty sure these two apps are supposed to be able to read Bookshare content. Maybe they got permission from Bookshare before putting that functionality into their app. I don't know. Thanks, Shersey

(taken from the ITunes app store) What's New in Version 2.7.0 - Availability of new voices from NeoSpeech: Paul and Julie. - New voices from Acapela: Will, Micah, and Raul. - Localization for French, Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, and Russian. (Big thanks to volunteers who did this!) - Add bookmark button. - 30-second rewind and fast forward buttons. - Go-to-percent button next to the slider when VoiceOver is on. - Export full text. - Export highlighted text. - Share what you're listening to via Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and email (iOS 6 only) - Open in Safari for items that originated from Web pages. - Bookmarks for the built-in Web Browser. - Increased maximum font size. - Marking multiple articles "Unread" in edit mode. - Option for Pocket full synch: Archived or deleted articles in Pocket will be deleted in Voice Dream. - Bluetooth headset and speaker controls for play and pause are enabled. - Voice download now possible over mobile data network (3G/4G). - Focused Reading Mode now available on iPhone and iPod touch. Pinch the text area to activate. - Disabled idle timer when the Reader is open so the screen won't auto-lock. - Minor improvements for use with VoiceOver. - Advanced Setting: You can now turn off going to full-screen automatically. - Advanced Setting: You can disable rewind button from ever changing the reading location. This is now the default behavior. - Advanced Setting: You can assign rewind and fast forward button on the remote control to the 30 second rewind and fast forward. - Fixed: Deleted articles not removed from the home screen when offline. - Fixed: Occasionally losing the reading location. - Fixed: Some articles from Pocket causing the app to crash. - Fixed: Sleep timer activation invoking Play-Pause button first. ...

Submitted by mehgcap on Monday, February 4, 2013

In reply to by Signaltonoise

The app is free to try, so download it and give it a whirl. I did, and even hooked my Bookshare account up and grabbed a few books. My personal problem with the app is that I really hate A Capella voices, but if the dev offered other solutions, even free ones like ESpeak (yeah, I know most people hate it) I'd probably buy it. There is no daisy navigation, so that's something to keep in mind; the app is an article/book reader, not a daisy reader at present. Still, as I said, you can try it out to see if you like it, then buy the full version if you want to. The trial has full functionality, but it stops reading after a couple sentences, so you have to keep hitting play to read more.

Submitted by Sean Terry on Monday, February 4, 2013

I just bought the app a few hours ago, I cannot get the Peter happy, Peter sad, and will voices to play the demos. So I don't know whether I would want to download them. Is anyone else having this problem?

Hey Sean my peter voices played. I didn't buy them, but the preview did work. I really like this app, but one feature I liked was broken this update the sleep timer. It now looks like the timer in tune in where I can see strt or cancil but no flicker itum. In the older app it worked which was pretty sweet. Now however I have the Paul voice, so I guess its a trade off.

I have the same problem with the preview not playing for those voices. The two additional Peter voices have never previewed since I bought the app several weeks ago. Strange that they work for others. Possibly it's a geographical problem, and might depend upon your location. I don't like the Peter voice anyway, and I'm guessing that having him happy or sad wouldn't alter that.

Here is a really beautiful reader that is not fully accessible, Contrary to what is stated above. Most specifically, as is stated in their own help document, there is no VoiceOver access yet to the text screen which is what will be needed to be able to fine tune reading to the sentence and paragraph level, look up words, copy text, etc. They state that this will be available in the future and I look forward to it. I would appreciate it if the person who contacted the developers would share how they did so, as I am not easily finding that information. It connects beautifully with Bookshare once you enable that feature with your Bookshare ID. You don't get Bookshare descriptions of books as you do in Read2Go, but you can use Safari for that and I don't think that's what we need the app for. What we get in this app is the ability to read books using other voices besides the iPhone voices and the heather voice in Read2Go. The default voice in Voice Dream Reader is also Heather. To my ear, their implementation of Heather is more fluid than in read2Go. What we also get is the ability to read other documents and articles with these voices. Of particular value, is the ability to read books and documents in other languages using these more human sounding voices. I personally prefer less human voices in English, my first language, but if I want to read in Spanish, where I do have some skill, I struggle with any of the iphone voices. Even with the current lack of control we have using this app, I think its worth the price. For those who got stuck in trying out the Peter voices, download the lite version of the app. There are no demoas but if you tap on the option to try them, which is free in that version, they will download and work. One thing missing, however, is the option to really try out their more expensive voices, Paul and Julie, which are not in the lite version. Since the voices really sound different at the speed I prefer I can't really tell if I like them enough to actually use them if purchased.

Submitted by Tangela on Monday, February 11, 2013

In reply to by Joe

hello, Thank you for the tip about the voices which demos won't play. That was very helpful! The Paul and Julie voices are actually available as free apps for the iphone which you can paste or type text into and have it read to you. You can also change the speed to something pretty close to the voice Dream speeds and quality as well, so that should be able to give you a pretty good idea whether you would like those voices. Here is a direct link to the Paul voice. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/neopaul/id334254353?mt=8 The same company also has the Julie voice and another one called Kate. Hope this helps!

Submitted by Sof on Monday, February 18, 2013

In reply to by Tangela

Hello, According to the developper who is really interested in accessibility,we will be able to use the text box in the upcomming version. Apparently, the rotor will be usable to read the text by word, phrase etc. I encourage all of you to give this app a positive review on the app store. For French speaking users, I've made a podcast in French to demonstrate the app. Enjoy

Submitted by Sean Terry on Monday, February 18, 2013

Hi, Voice Dream crashes everytime I open it now. I have restarted the phone. I didn't want to uninstall it as I think I would lose all the books I downloaded from BookShare. If anyone can ease my mind about this, I would be very grateful. thanks a lot in advance.

Submitted by Sof on Monday, February 18, 2013

Hi, You should really contact the author if you have a problem. Here, I have no problem with Voice dream. But the developper is really willing to help. Unfortunately, in my opinion, your best choice for the time being is to uinstall and reinstall the app. I'm quite sure that the author will tell you the same thing. I don't use Bookshare, it may be a problem with its implementation in VDR. Good luck Sof

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Great news for VoiceOver users in the latest update - we can now access the text box!

What's New in Version 2.7.2

  • Text box is accessible with VoiceOver
  • Page number support for Bookshare books and PDF
  • Loading files via iTunes
  • Experimental Evernote integration
  • Bug fixes
  • Minor usability enhancements

yes this is all true but now it seems I can't use the other voices for reading, just VoiceOver. Has anyone found differently?

Submitted by Sof on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In fact, you can read using VoiceOver only when TTS playback is stopped. Just try to use the rotor to select a word and then press play. The TTS will start reading from that point. HTH, Sof

Submitted by Weary Mouse on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In reply to by Sof

Well, I figured it out. And, it's not true, you can use voiceover to read. At the home screen choose voice settings. It talks about starred voices being the preferred voices. If nothing is starred, when you press play, it will read with voiceover. However, voiceover is not reading the stars. I just have the Heather voice in my paid version, so double tapping it apparently starred it and I now can read with her. Double tapping her again turns the star off and I can read with voiceover. It is not an option in the settings you get to while playing a book. I'm sure they didn't think about this. I'm going to suggest they make it an option there also.

Submitted by Weary Mouse on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In reply to by Weary Mouse

OK. I was wrong. Now I can't go back to reading with voiceover. Well, I will suggest they add that option as it has its uses. and is clearly possible.

Submitted by Sof on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In reply to by Weary Mouse

It's really strange since VO has no TTs seen by this ap. A bug? Personally, If I want to read with VoiceOver, I would use iBooks it does a better job especially when you have to deal with navigation within the book. The purpose of VDR is to read using a far better voice IMHO

I'm the developer of Voice Dream Reader. As of the last release, I've made the content of the text box on the screen visible to VoiceOver. VO will read the line of text that you tap on, and you can use Word and Character options on the Rotor. But in addition to that, when you double tap on the text box away from line you just tapped, VoiceOver will read the content of the entire text box. I must admit that I didn't develop for this behavior on purpose, but the accessibility feature of iOS is not well documented for developers, so making something work with VO is an exercise of trial and error. It happened inadvertently. I'll continue to improve VO support through trial and error. It'll get better and better, but it may not a straight path. My next goal is to make word definition, highlighting and note taking work with VO, which promises to be even more challenging, because even Apple's own iBooks doesn't let you do that with VO on. Winston.

Hello. Absolutely love the app. Thank you for developing it, and for being so open to improving it. Following the instructions listed above, however, voiceOver only read a few sentences-- something like maybe half a page, rather than reading continuously. Is this the correct behavior, or was I doing something wrong? Thanks, Tangela

Submitted by Winston Chen on Monday, March 18, 2013

In reply to by Tangela

That seems to be the behavior. It's actually reading all the text visible in the text box until you tap something else. I'm not sure if it is possible to use the VO voice to read continuously and auto scroll to the next page - I don't have much control over the VO voice. Then there is the question whether you actually want to use the default VO voice rather than the voices available in voice dream. Your opinion?

In most apps, flicking down with 2 fingers activates a read continuously mode with voiceOver, however this does not work with Voice dream. Personally, I would like the ability to switch between the VO voice and acapela voices, as for certain material I prefer VO and for others the tts. However, given the size of both applications, I would prefer not to have to keep both voiceDream and the read2go native bookshare app on the phone to get bookshare materials.

Hi, In my opinion, the way the text box is actually usable is enough since Voice Dream's purpose is to read using Acapela's voices which are definetely far better than the VO's built-in voices. Actually, Voice Dream only displays the text currently being read by the TTS and it's suffiscient to have a misunderstood word spelled. Apparently, it has already been a pain to get this text box accessible. Personnally, if I'd like to read a book using VoiceOver, I just take iBooks or another one since there are many which do the job very well. I think that making the text box more accessible is not a priority and we should concentrate on more useful features. Again, it's only my opinion. :)

Submitted by Tangela on Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I was wondering if it would be possible to change the default behavior when adding books to a folder. Currently, when you add books to a folder, the books remain in the home screen, but are also available in the folder. It would be nice to move files to the folders so that the folders show up on the home screen instead of the large list of books. Even better would be folders within folders, so that you could organize the books by say, author, and then within each author have the folders for their particular series. This would be very similar to the kindle collections feature.

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Friday, March 22, 2013

Yet more improvements for VoiceOver and BookShare users:

 What's New in Version 2.7.3

  • Annotation: adding your own notes to text
  • Exported highlight text now contains notes, chapter names and page number where possible
  • Text highlighting is now flexible using movable pins
  • Loading DAISY files in .zip format from Dropbox, iTunes, or even directly in Safari.
  • File name search for Dropbox
  • Tap on Bookshare book to see full description
  • Bookshare download history
  • Faster text extraction of Bookshare books
  • Bookshare periodicals now has an index, and most recent periodicals on top
  • With VoiceOver, the text slider now moves at 5% at a time
  • With VoiceOver, play, pause and 30 sec rewind and fast forward buttons stay quiet after tapping
  • Quick sleep timer for 15, 30, 45, and 60-minutes
  • Catalan localization

Submitted by Tangela on Monday, April 1, 2013

New voices Bridget and Kate from NeoSpeech are now available! Plus Google Drive support! Voice Dream Reader is updated every month with great new features, and you always get them for free. Please spread the word and tell your friends and colleagues. We will continue making Voice Dream Reader even better. Also in this release: - Increased maximum font size on iPad to 70 - Select All in iTunes import - Swedish voice Mia is fixed Join our community on Facebook and Twitter to find out what's coming! The links are in Settings

Submitted by Tangela on Monday, April 1, 2013

When updating this app, the voice Brigit seems to work fine, however the Kate voice shows up as unavailable for some reason. I can play the sample, but for some reason can not purchase the voice. Has anyone else had this difficulty, or know why this might be? Thanks, Tangela

Submitted by Winston Chen on Monday, April 1, 2013

In reply to by Tangela

Kate should be available for sale now. If it is still not available, terminate the app (Delete it in the task tray at the bottom), and start it again. Winston.

Submitted by Tangela on Monday, April 1, 2013

In reply to by Winston Chen

Hello and thank you for your prompt response. Unfortunately, quitting and relaunching the app did not change anything. I am using an iphone 5 with the latest IOS.

Submitted by Kellie on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hello, I am getting an error when trying to link the app to my bookshare account. The error says "login failed, bad url." I am entering the correct login information for bookshare. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. Kellie

Submitted by Rajesh Malik on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am having difficulty selecting text in the text box for the purpose of bookmarking as well as for looking up specific words in the accompanying dictionary. I have gone through a podcast on the subject but it has not helped in illucidating the matter. Would someone be able to post instructions on how to accomplish this feat? It would be much appreciated.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In reply to by Rajesh Malik

Hello. Is anyone else having problems with the pronunciation dictionary? It seems to work; however, I find that if I enter a word, then enter how I want it pronounced, if I go and hit the button to play how it will sound, it causes the app to crash. Anyone else? Thanks.

Can you tell me what voice you're using, and what word you tried to play? I know there is a problem with skipping words: if you need to skip anything, use "Any Text" instead. Apple has the fix and should be out any day. Winston.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In reply to by Winston Chen

Okay. I have no idea what you're talking about so I'll take your word for it. Thanks for responding. BTW, the voice I was using was Neospeech Paul, and I tried several different words. After the program exited, I would just go back in and enter the words in the pronunciation dictionary and save the entries without listening to the word, and that seemed to work just fine. Keep up with this amazing app!

Submitted by Tangela on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lots of new features in this release. What's New in Version 2.8.0 This is a major release, with a powerful pronunciation dictionary and advanced text navigation. Powerful New Controls for Speech - Personal pronunciation dictionary. Change how a word is pronounced or skip any text - Adjust default speech rate, pitch and volume for each voice - Save speech rate for each article or book Flexible Text Navigation - Set rewind and fast forward navigation unit to sentence, paragraph, page, chapter, highlights, bookmarks, 15, 30, and 60 seconds - Option to scroll page by page for visual reading - Footer to indicate page, percentage, chapter, and navigation unit New Voices - Chinese and Japanese voices from NeoSpeech Other UI Improvements

Submitted by Sean Terry on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In reply to by Tangela

When setting the rewind or fast-forward setting to anything but the 15 second, 30 seconds, or 62nd settings, nothing else seems to work. I cannot seem to move backward or forward by sentence, paragraph, page, and all the others. If this could be fixed, I and many others would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!

Sean, can you please send me an email with the document where this is happening? This is the first time I've heard of this issue. Others, please email me at support@voicedream.com if you run into any issues. I'm pretty good with getting back to you quickly. This forum is less than ideal for technical support. Winston.

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Monday, July 1, 2013

I am thinking about getting this, but I have two questions. First, does the two-finger double tap gesture pause and resume speech from all locations, as it does for the music or downcast apps? I saw this in the update history but cannot verify it with the lite version. Second, is there any price difference between the neospeech or acapela voices? I need a Chinese voice and am trying to decide between Lulu and Liang.

Submitted by mehgcap on Monday, July 1, 2013

In reply to by synthesizer101

Yes, the two-finger double tap works from anywhere, and the play/pause button on a compatible headset works as well. Of course, VDR has to be in the App Switcher and active - I once had to open the app and hit play manually, but it worked from then on. Yes, the voices are a dollar different in most cases, as far as I know anyway. The most expensive I've seen is $3, though I have not looked at the Chinese voices. Personally, I'm putting up with Heather until that glorious day when Ivona voices arrive, but no one knows how long that will be.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In reply to by mehgcap

The voices are $1.99 for the Acapela voices and $2.99 for the Neospeech voices. Personally, I recommend the Neispeech. It's a dollar more. But I think they are better overall, and especially add in the fact that you can now use the pronunciation editor, and I think you've got a deal. Of course, I can only speak for the English voices.