A new “Read-Aloud” feature is now available on Apple’s iBook reader for iPad – the feature works as a narration mode which is now on selected titles and is aimed at kid’s story-time and as an educational tool to help them read by themselves.
Yes, Amazon’s Kindle has employed something a little similar before but using the text-to-speech method, but Apple is using actual recorded voices in unique narration to each of the books available with “Read-Aloud” – none of that “robot talk”.
Using a stylus kids can follow along with the words as the voice speaks the words – telling a story or reading educational information in the virtual pages.
The feature is a useful one and potential use for institutions like schools is fantastic, but there’s something bittersweet about the overall idea. This is something which would obviously also be used in the home. Is it just me or is an iPad reading a story to a child pretty negligent parenting?
iBook 1.3 is available through the App Store and update also brings along audio and video playback in some media books, amends a glitch meaning some pages were duplicated in some titles and improves the loading times of large books.