AppleVis Extra #40: Voice Dream Reader 4.0 with Winston Chen

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Lisa Salinger, Jeff Bishop and Thomas Domville talk with Winston Chen about the much anticipated version 4.0 release of Voice Dream Reader for iOS.

Voice Dream Reader is a widely acclaimed app that reads articles, documents and books out loud. With advanced text-to-speech and a highly configurable visual layout, it can be tailored to suit every reading style and level.

Version 4.0 is described by Winston as “a massive update which improves just about every aspect of the app. We rewrote everything down to the very core to support these new features, which is why it's taken more than a year.”

Changes and new features in version 4.0 include the following:

A Beautiful New UI

  • Grid view and cover images in the library.
  • Improved library organization: filters, flags, and sort order.
  • Visual appearance of the entire app uses the current color theme.
  • Experimental rich text and image support for all documents.

New Reading Modes

  • 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.
  • Sentence mode which pauses at every sentence. Useful for beginning readers.
  • Repeat document.
  • Option to rewind to beginning of the last sentence when you pause.

New Voices

  • Alex, free high quality voice in iOS 9.
  • New premium child voices from Acapela in US, UK, and Australian English, US Spanish, and German.
  • Acapela's new flagship German voice: Claudia.
  • Emotive variations of Jeroen, Antoine, Margaux, Dimitris and Will.

Other New Features

  • Set PDF margins to exclude text in header and footer.
  • Up to 4X speed for recorded audio.
  • Support for 3D Touch, split screen and Spotlight search.
  • Safari extension to save Web pages and Web addresses.
  • Evernote file attachments.
  • Background download for files and voices.
  • More accurate language detection.

Pro Features (requires in-app purchase for existing users)

  • Your entire library, including folders, reading locations, bookmarks and annotations are synchronized across all your devices using iCloud Drive.

Voice Dream Reader 4.0 is available for download from the App Store now. To mark the release of this update, the price has been reduced to US$9.99 for a limited time; a 33% saving on its usual price.

In addition to Voice Dream Reader, Winston is also the developer of Voice Dream Writer and Voice Dream Mail.

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