Hey guys! MASSIVE Update to the Free OCR App Voice.
For those of you guys who don't know me or have never heard of Voice, basically here's the summary. Four years ago, when I was 15, I built an OCR app called Voice. I made it completely free, posted lots of updates about it, and tried keeping it up to date with the latest iOS software updates. I even tried building advanced features like a field of view report system, book mode, and image autocorrection, etc. to offer the best OCR reader experience to you guys for free (compared to very expensive alternatives like KNFB Reader). During those two years, I was able to become very close to the blind community and those were definitely some of the best experiences of my life. Thanks to you guys, I was able to learn a lot about the community as well as about app development.
Unfortunately, since I was still learning programming, the app itself was still very buggy and crashed a lot. I tried my best to give you guys the best features for free but my programming skills were not good enough at the time. As years went by and it was time for me to apply to colleges, I slowly stopped being able to support Voice and it slowly stopped working. Over the last year, I have received thousands of emails from you guys saying the app is completely broken.
Well, I have some awesome news. Over the past few months, Voice was completely remade from the ground up, with the best and latest technology. The OCR quality is spectacular, even on completely distorted, badly focused, and incorrectly angled photos with poor lighting. You can also talk to Voice now! So after opening the app, try saying the words "Take Picture." Voice will take a picture from your Voice command. Then instead of pressing the Read button, just say the word "read". And it will automatically start reading it to you. There are only 2 voice commands right now, but I am including more in the next update. Voice can also give extremely accurate field of view reports when it detects a document in front of you. Lastly, it works in over 30 major languages and gives you the most powerful OCR reading tools right in your pocket.
After long debating this with myself, I have decided to make the app free for only the next 24 hours. After that, it will be on the app store for $4.99. I have always wanted to keep this app free for you guys, but the problem is that maintaining the app becomes very difficult when it is completely free. I would rather give you guys an extremeley low cost app that is the absolute best and regularly supported, rather than a completely free app that is mediocre and unsupported. Those of you that install it while it is free will also get future updates for free. Let your friends know so they can also get it while it's free!
Here are the specific list of features:
1. New and improved OCR quality! Be amazed at how accurately the app will read your documents. You no longer need to worry about low lighting and bad focus, Voice corrects it automatically and gives you very high-quality readings.
2. Voice control! Now you can take a picture by simply saying the word "Capture" or "Take picture". Voice will literally snap a photo at your command. Then simply say the word "Read" and Voice will start reading it to you. Right now there are only 2 Voice commands but I will be adding more in future updates.
3. Smart field of view report! Just point your phone at a document. Voice will automatically tell you when all 4 corners of the document are visible. Works even when a page is folded into small squares–it finds the largest rectangle, so you will always be able to get an accurate sense of what's in front of the camera.
4. Book mode! Instead of taking one photo, just simply keep on taking photos. Then when you say "Read," Voice will be able to read them all to you one by one.
5. Built from the ground up to be Voice Over compatible to provide the best experience.
6. Powered with superpowered technology, Voice has better OCR quality than most other expensive paid services.
7. Automatic vertical and horizontal column detection for reading different columns in a newspaper.
8. Voice can process and read the text in over 30 major languages. You can also change the speaking rate Adjustable speaking rate. Just customize the language and speaking rate to your liking in the app Settings.
Now that I have given you the pro's, here are some cons:
1. Although I have done my best to squash bugs, this is only the first version, so there might be small bugs.
2. You can copy and paste the processed text from Voice to other apps, but there is no way to directly export as PDF or PNG from within Voice. This will be added in a future update very soon.
3. The app requires an internet connection. This is how Voice achieves a vastly better OCR quality that only gets better over time.
4. Depending on your internet connection, processing many images may take up to 15 seconds. I'm very sorry about this and I'm working on making it a lot better.
5. Right now the Voice control feature only supports two actions, taking a picture and starting the reading process. I plan to make the entire app Voice controlled within the next few updates.
5. The app will cost $4.99 after 24 hours. I really want all of you to be able to download it for free though so tell all your friends to install it before 8AM tomorrow June 15th!
Here is the link to the app on the iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voice-take-picture-have-it/id903772588?mt=8.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you find this application helpful. I am open to any suggestions and feedback, feel free to be as brutal as you like. I will respond to every email. I plan to bring even more exciting stuff in the very near future. Thank you for your time.
P.S. If you like the app, it would be so helpful if you could write a quick review on the app store.