Read2Go comments and observations

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team
iOS and iPadOS
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 V1.0.2.2, 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?



Submitted by Kevin Jones on Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hello Amir and readers, Like Amir, I also have frustrations with the Read2go app, especially with the inflexibility to read with Voiceover similarly to in iBooks. Voiceover is not allowed to read in a truly continuous mode, because you by default must press next page for every new page, or if you turn that off in settings, still forced to press next section each time. This is somewhat tolerable in a book of fiction where chapters are around 10 pages or more, but in technical books where a section is often a page or less this is totally unproductive. Read2go is awesome in it’s convenient access to bookshare and could be one of my favorite apps if voiceover could read as nicely as in ibooks, all we need is a few extra settings like allow voiceover to continuously read. I rant because I know these decisions were based more on asthetics rather than actual programming limitations. What do others think?

Submitted by Kevin Jones on Tuesday, September 4, 2012

As to Amir’s wishing to be able to search in the read2go app, I have a partial answer. There is a limited search, but only within the scope of the current chapter. 1 Bring up the choose item list with 2-finger triple tap. 1a Type the word or phrase you want and it will bring up a list of results. It will probably display the current line of text around the found results. Press the home button to close. 2. If you have a bluetooth keyboard, the control-option-f and control-option g voiceover commands present on the mac will also work in iOS. 2a press control-option-f and voiceover will say “enter search text” and wait for your request; pressing escape will cancel this operation. 2b type in what you want and press enter, the cursor along with voiceover will be moved to the next occurance of your search, and remain where you were if nothing is found. 2c you can then press control-option-g to look for the same string of text again. 2d You can press control-option-shift-g to search backwards in the text for the same string. 2e In read2go this only works within the current chapter; in ibooks it will work across the entire book, though it may take considerable time in a large book. Hope that helps.

Submitted by Maria on Tuesday, September 4, 2012

HI. I would love to be able to read continuously with voice over. I prefer the iOS voice to the voices available from read to go. Maybe all of us that want to be able to read continuously with voice over should perhaps contact the debs and put it in as a feature request.

Submitted by Jennifer on Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hi Amir, You can go to a specific page with ReadToGo but it doesn't work like a "Find" function if that's what you are looking for. 1. Go to the "Navigation" tab within a book. 2. There are three tabs within the "Navigation" window. The second one is "Page." 3. From there, you can flick to the page number you are looking for, then double-tap when finished. This may not be what you were looking for but perhaps someone else can benefit from it if you don't. I actually like the ReadToGo voices and mine is set at 200%, so I haven't experienced the frustration some of you have had with the inability to read without needing to flip pages or search for a specific word. However, I have not found a sleep timer within the app which is a downfall of being able to read continuously. I will frequently wake up and the app is still reading and I have drained half my battery overnight. Overall I think this was an excellent attempt for BookShare to answer a call to keep up with technology and the demand of its readers. If we as a community can continue to generate ideas and ship them off to BookShare to help the developers of the app, it will only help BookShare overall.

Submitted by Eileen on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There is an adjustable box in the lower right hand corner, just above the next section button. It reads the section titles as you flick up or down. I find these adjustment boxes more intuitive than the navigation menu, while reading with VO. But VO does not always anounce these adjusta# boxes when swiping from left and right through the screen contents.

Submitted by Brenden on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Hello everyone.

For people who use the black background when reading, there is a highlight tool for when the voice reads the sentence to you.

To me, those highlighter colors are too bright for me with little to no contrast for the words to appear.

To solve this problem, I use a dark blue as the "highlight color".

That way, there is contrast for the sentence highlighter and the black background.