With iVocalize, users can say anything immediately by typing words into the quick speak box at the top of every page.
They can also assign words and phrases to buttons and save an unlimited number of button sets, providing groups of preset buttons customized for different occasions.
The app's text-to-speech engine features four built-in voices. Users can choose from over 650 button icons and import their own images.
iVocalize costs $10 and is available from Goatella and through the App Store.
Using the iVocalize AAC App
Loading iVocalize for the first time brings you to its main screen, most of which is taken up with 12 customizable preset buttons corresponding to needs, emotions, and topics the user may wish to communicate.
At the top of the screen, there is a "quick speak" box where users can type anything they wish to say, voice it by pressing "Speak," and pressing "Clear" to enter a new message.
Three buttons -- "Sets," "Settings," and a + sign -- at the bottom of the screen enable users to add, edit, and customize the 12 communications buttons and their corresponding icons.
Adding & Editing Buttons
To add a new button to the current button set, press the white + sign icon in the blue circle in the lower right corner of the screen.
Once on the "New Button" screen, type in the text to be spoken, a short name for the button, and select an icon.
Pressing "Change the icon" opens the "Categories" window where you can select the appropriate image for your button.
To change a button icon, depressing it for several seconds to enter "Edit" mode.
Once on the "Edit Button" screen, type in the text to be spoken, a short name for the button, and select an icon to associate with it.
To add a custom icon, select "Change the icon" under either "New Button" or "Edit Button" to access the "Categories" screen.
Once in "Categories," select "Custom" at the bottom right of the screen, and then click on the + sign in the top right corner of the "Custom Icon" screen.
A blank icon will appear onscreen. You can fill this blank with either an image from your photo library or with a picture you take on the spot.
To import a web image using your iOS device, press on it for several seconds and choose "Save Image" from the popup window.
In the "Custom Icons" window, choose "Choose From Library" and select your newly saved image.
To import an image from a computer, email it to your iOS device -- either pasted in or as an attachment -- then select and save it to your library the same way you would a web image.
Other iVocalize Functions
Press "Sets" to add, delete, switch between, and manage button sets.
Press "Settings" to change voice settings and to edit custom icons. Users can adjust the speed of each of the four individual voices.
Note: If iVocalize does not correctly pronounce a name or word, try typing out the word phonetically rather than using the correct spelling. You can also try adding a period or space to insert a brief pause as the word is spoken.
Goatella is run by Angela Bradley and Kevin Enax out of their home in Markesan, Wisconsin.