Today, Google launched a new app called “Read-Along” on the Google Play Store. This application is designed to help elementary school students practice their reading skills. The new Android app is based on Google’s existing app, Bolo, which was launched in India last year and contains stories of readings in English and Hindi. The updated and renamed Read-Along is now available worldwide and supports nine languages.
Google Read-Along works like Bolo
Like Bolo, Read-Along uses Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech features to help children learn to read. The app contains a built-in reading assistant called Diya. As the children read aloud, Diya finds out if the child is having phonological problems and then helps the child with accurate reading through positive challenges. Children can also always ask Diya to help them read sentences or pronunciations that they don’t know.
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As children slowly improve their reading level with the help of the app, they are rewarded with some wordplay content and some of the rewards built into the app. Google says the app was developed with children’s privacy in mind and is capable of working without Wi-Fi or data traffic. The voice data is analyzed in real-time on the device. This information is not synchronized, stored, or analyzed on Google’s servers. The company also emphasized that it did not use the children’s voice samples to make the product better.
Furthermore, the app does not contain ads or in-app purchases. Parents who want to download other stories can choose to connect to the Internet without paying. As of now, Read-Along offers about 500 stories, however, the catalog is constantly adding new books. We must note that the app is not suitable for children below the age of 5. At least, that is the recommendation. Nevertheless, we’ve got some pretty smart kids who could still use this app despite their lower age.