SayIt! - easy AAC

Rating SayIt! - easy AAC - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 16+
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About SayIt! - easy AAC

SayIt! is a text-to-speech tool compatible with iPhones and iPads. Typical users will be people of all ages who struggle to vocalise words and phrases. They can use this app to type what they want to say as they go or store a selection of words and phrases on various phrase boards linked to different contexts.

A lite version of SayIt! will let you try out its basic functionality, but the premium version unlocks all its personalisation, quality-of-life, and flexibility options. It is the premium version of Say It! App reviewed below.

SayIt! - easy AAC Review

What is SayIt! - easy AAC app?                       

In case you haven’t needed to investigate such an app before, the AAC in this app’s full title stands for augmentative and alternative communication. Essentially it uses speech synthesis to turn what the user enters as text into audible speech. SayIt! literally lets its users say what is on their mind if they cannot vocalise it. 

There is far more to SayIt! than this, as it has a wealth of options to improve its convenience, accessibility, and usefulness for those who need it. Phrase boards, symbol-based identification of stored words and phrases, a choice of voices, and more make SayIt! an indispensable tool for some people.

For access to all the SayIt! features, users must create a free account within the app. This process is email-based, and no options for using other log-in methods exist.

Users of SayIt! type in words and phrases, and the app speaks them in natural sounding voices. Frequently used words and phrases can be stored in collections called phrase boards for ease of access.

SayIt! fully utilises the iOS platform by taking advantage of the iOS Head Tracking feature, which allows it to be controlled by the user’s head and eyes.  

This review of SayIt! is based upon the premium app, although a more restricted ‘lite’ version is also available. 

What we love about SayIt! app.

One of modern technology’s most valuable contributions has been to give opportunities and support to those who have difficulties to overcome. SayIt! is in this category as it turns an iPhone or iPad into an assistive device for anyone with speech difficulties.

SayIt! fulfils its purpose with elegance and thoughtfulness. Its different features, such as creating various phrase boards or select voices, give users a choice on how to use it in the moment and how they want to sound to others. If its users prefer a third-party keyboard, they can use it within SayIt! but the app’s built-in one is very usable.

With all of its options, SayIt! puts the user first and adapts to their needs rather than expecting them to change their preferences.

What skills does it improve?

SayIt! lets kids who cannot vocalise their thoughts, opinions, and questions without assistance speak. Therefore it gives them better access to social interaction, lesson participation and discussion. All of these will allow children who need this app the chance to grow multiple skills, including social, emotional and academic.

What age is it appropriate for?

Any child who can spell words will be able to use this app entirely. As the app gives single-button access to user-defined words and phrases, it can also be used in a more limited way by kids still learning to spell words.

As each word, term, and phrase board can be represented by a symbol provided by the app or imported from the user’s photos, somebody else could enter the word for them, and the user would know which button accesses it from the symbol.

How much does SayIt! app cost?

This review of SayIt! is based upon the premium app available for a single purchase price. There is a more limited lite version available which has a good level of functionality for a free app but is most appropriate for seeing if someone feels able to use the app effectively before purchasing the premium version.

The premium version of SayIt! requires a single purchase to have full and permanent access.

Is SayIt! app safe to use?

While the privacy policy for SayIt! refers to advertisements, this appears to be a catch-all policy as no advertisements appeared during this review. It is unlikely that a good quality, premium app, like SayIt!, would ever introduce them. 

Users of this app could use it to communicate personal or sensitive information. It is impossible to conclusively say that the app never uploads entered words and phrases for processing and content retrieval as the privacy policy does not spell this out. Such off-device processing would not be unusual for an app as it can help them to outperform what would be possible on the device alone.

Users will have to see if the app’s privacy policy and potential use of data meet their requirements.

Is SayIt! app easy to use?

The app leads new users through the most important options when they first use it. After that, its layout and use are intuitive. The standard screen might be all some users need, especially at first, but the phrase board functionality is easy to customise and then access.

Word prediction and a clear interface make using the app straightforward.

How will students benefit?

Being able to choose how they sound could be important to a student. Professor Stephen Hawking, the famous scientist and user of speech synthesis technology, never updated his relatively primitive-sounding speech technology because he had ‘identified with the voice’. He had never had any choice for his voice but grew to incorporate it into his identity.

Young users of speech synthesis might form the same attachment to their chosen voice, so they should have options. Very young users might also feel less self-conscious as they can choose from two built-in child voices. 

These thoughtful additions, of course, are on top of the main benefit—gaining a voice that kids can use for socialising and learning at school.

Purely from an academic point of view, the potential to create custom phrase boards is beneficial. Kids using SayIt! can create a board relevant for each subject which could be especially useful where topics use long words or complex phrases.

How will teachers benefit?

Teachers want all of their students to engage with lessons as much as possible. SayIt! helps some who may once have found joining in impossible, to be part of lessons, questioning, debating, and discussing—to the benefit and value of all of the class.

How will parents benefit?

Once, speech assistive devices required dedicated hardware that was somewhat short of portable but was expensive. SayIt! turns kids’ existing devices into every bit the equal of dedicated hardware but for a fraction of the price.

Parents will spend what they must to give their kids the best opportunities, but it is nice when helping their kids doesn’t cost a fortune.

What can SayIt! app improve on?

SayIt! is a general-purpose accessibility tool, so it is not a criticism to say it is not tuned to school use. However, as teachers write the Educational App Store reviews, we can’t help but look at it from that point of view and would love to see the following functionality added.

Some school or subject-based phrase boards already built-in could form a valuable basis for kids to customise rather than start from scratch. Just as helpful would be a means for importing words and phrases from a text file so that teachers could pass it on to kids for a ready-populated phrase board linked to an upcoming lesson.

As SayIt! already incorporates an effective text-to-speech facility, an option to read out the prompts and instructions for users who might also struggle with literacy would be helpful.

A very small point, as it is not something you will need to do very often: the app obscures passwords when you enter or create them. As the app requires a strong password, having a reveal password option would be a preferred accessibility option for some users.

The suggestions presented here are not criticisms of the app. There are always new features apps can add or tweak, and SayIt! in its current form is excellent.

Overall rating of the app

It isn't easy to imagine an app using current technology that could do more to help its users speak. While a few suggestions have been made earlier in this review for new features, there were far more times where an option or feature stood out as a great idea.

Schools that work with children with speaking difficulties should consider SayIt! Its single purchase price makes it easy to administer and excellent value. Parents of those children will appreciate it for similar reasons, and the app will grow with their kids as they develop custom phrase boards and grow in confidence.

SayIt! fulfils its primary function perfectly and adds practical and helpful features to it. If you know anyone, child or adult, who would benefit from an app like this, you can safely recommend SayIt! to them. It is of great value without ongoing costs and superbly designed. SayIt! is a five-star recommended AAC app.

App Details

Ratings

Devices

iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Skills

Academic Relevance

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Owen McGirr

Download SayIt! - easy AAC

You can download SayIt! - easy AAC on your iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Download SayIt! - easy AACfor iOS

Screenshots of SayIt! - easy AAC

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