Google Releases an Android App that Encourages Children to Practice Reading

IBL News | New York

Google launched an innovative, free reading app for Android devices intended for children who already have some basic knowledge of the alphabet. A version for iOS and Safari browsers will come soon, according to Google.

This app, named Read Along, allows learners to learn at their own pace and track their individual progress.

It listens to learners read aloud, and offers assistance when they struggle, and guides them along as they progress. The app also rewards them with starts when they do well.

It works securely offline.

In addition, Read Along comes with a website — recently introduced as a public beta — that works with Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers on desktop.

Read Along tries to keep young minds engaged with stories and word games in nine languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, and Urdu.

Learners have unique profiles, and each advances on their own reading journey with recommended stories based on their reading level. They can tap on any word to hear it pronounced.

The company claimed that just like the app, all the speech recognition process takes place on the browser locally, and no data is sent to its servers to protect children’s privacy. Plus, the whole experience is ad-free.

“In addition to the website launch, we are also adding some brand-new stories. We have partnered with two well-known YouTube content creators, ChuChu TV, and USP Studios, to adapt some of their popular videos into a storybook format,” said Google in a statement.