Since I couldn’t find answers to many of my own questions before purchasing Read2Go, I decided to post my impressions and observations here in case others want to go the same route. If or when I get my hands on InDaisy, I’ll do the same. For the record, this is with Read2Go V188.8.131.52, released on January 21st 2012, and iPhone 4S using iOS 5.01.
1. Unlike what many people think, Read2Go indeed supports the dictionary built into iOS5 if VoiceOver is used to read books instead of the built-in TTS engine. Just set the Router to Word, select a word via the pinch-to-zoom gesture, select the Define option, and you’re good to go. Again, it doesn’t work with Acapela voices (it’s a pity).
2. This one truly bothers me: I’m wondering why one can’t navigate character by character, word by word, and line by line when the built-in Acapela TTS engine is selected. While these work with VoiceOver, I was expecting a 108MB app like Read2Go to be able to do it as well. The only think Read2Go does in DAISY 3.0 textbooks is jump to the previous/next phrase (which should correctly be called Sentence anyway), and, as strange as it sounds, it doesn’t support line/word/paragraph navigation unless its built-in audio is turned off and VoiceOver is used instead.
3. This one might be personal, but I absolutely hate both Acapela voices! In fact, they are nowhere as responsive as VoiceOver’s TTS engine (which is powered by Nuance’s Vocalizer). Also, increasing the speech rate a bit to, say, 140% generates mostly incomprehensible speech. Even 160 percent is way below my preferred VoiceOver speech rate. This is so annoying that I now use VoiceOver to read books in Read2Go. Yes, it can’t automatically move to the next page/section, but is much more responsive, is intelligible with higher speech rates, gives access to the built-in iOS dictionary, and, last but not least, offers all text-based navigation options I need. It’s worth mentioning that I think Ivona should have been selected as Read2Go’s TTS engine in the first place as it’s a better human-sounding TTS.
4. I’m wondering why Read2Go doesn’t provide a “text search” function to facilitate finding a specific phrase or sentence in the book. The same can be said about the missing “Go to page X” function.
5. Finally, based on my own report some of you might be aware of the fact that Read2Go currently fails to load Kurzweil 1000-generated DAISY 3 textbooks which are handled perfectly by FSReader on Windows and D2Go on Symbian.
If anyone can test InDaisy, I’d appreciate knowing how that one handles these issues. Currently I'm a bit frustrated with Read2Go as I was expecting something more full-fledged especially when it has the backing of Bookshare. Is InDaisy something similar, better, or worse?