Synapptic Reader is a simple but powerful screen reader for Android phones, tablets and the Synapptic TV Box. It is used to read out apps or Android messages and screens. It starts automatically and reads out text, headings, links and buttons, etc. on the app or screen.
There are three different ways to highlight and move about the text and other items on the screen. These are by using the Volume Keys on the edge of the device, by sliding your finger about the screen and by using swipe gestures. Each of these are detailed below.
The three different ways of using Synapptic Reader can be used together, in any combination.
Synapptic Reader also places the familiar red Cancel and Go Back button in the top left of each App or Android message. This makes using Apps and Android features seamless and easy from Synapptic.
Each time you press the Volume Down button, Synapptic Reader will move to the next item on the screen and read it out. Pressing the Volume Up button will read out the previous item. When you get to the end of the items, it will make a dull thudding noise to let you know there aren't any more. Pressing Volume Down again will jump back to the start.
If it reads out something on the screen you can interact with - such as a video you can play or a box where you can type text in, it will audibly inform you. To activate it, press and hold the volume down button. After one to two seconds you will feel a buzz as the device vibrates to let you know it has been activated.
If you activate an item that lets you type in text then a keyboard will be shown on the bottom half of your screen. Run your finger over the keyboard to have the letters read out. Lift up your finger when you find the right one – that character will then be typed.
When typing in text, pressing the volume down key will move forward and the volume up key will move back through what you have typed. To stop typing and go back to having the screen read out, press and hold the volume down button to continue further down the screen, or press and hold the volume up button to go back up the screen.
To explore by touch simply run your finger over the screen and it will read out whatever you touch. You don't need to keep your finger on the screen and can just tap on what you want to have read out. Synapptic Reader will highlight what you have selected and read it out. If that is a link, a video or anything else that can be activated, then tap on it again to activate it.
If the screen you are reading is too long to be shown all at once, use two fingers and stroke upwards from the bottom of the screen to move further down, or stroke down from the top of the screen to move back towards the top.
It is important to note when using explore by touch that Android and Apps items don't always take up the full width of the screen. There can be an item on the left and a different item on the right.
To explore by gestures, use one finger and swipe across the screen, starting from the left and going to the right. This will read out the next item on the screen. You can do the same thing by swiping down from top towards the bottom. To read out the previous item swipe upwards or towards the left.
When you find an item you want to activate, tap anywhere on the screen twice, quite quickly.
Finally, there is an option in the Synapptic Reader settings called Advanced Gestures. It is disabled by default but enabling it will change the swipe up and swipe down gesture. Instead of moving onto the next or previous item, this will let you choose what type of item to go to next. For example, Synapptic Reader will normally look for the next paragraph to read out. You could instead look for the next word or just the next letter. Going the other way, if you are reading a large amount of text you could look for the next heading, like a chapter title.
I was not a mobile phone user previously but now use it for calls, sending e-mails and texts. Also, I frequently use YouTube, Internet radio and talking books! Although I have a little sight, I feel I could use it without any sight.
Your Synapptic devices are the best things I have used in the ten years I have been blind. Thanks to the above, I was awarded a Blind Veterans UK Founder's Day Award for I T training earlier this year.
I have been using my Synapptic phone for a couple of months now and I love it. Synapptic software has opened up a whole new world to me. I am now even exploring taking photos with the camera. Just think - 6 months ago I could not even do text messages let alone think about attaching photos! I hope everyone else is getting as much pleasure from their Synapptic phone as I am.
If I did not have my Synapptic tablet, I would be lost without it. I can keep in touch with all my friends on email and Facebook. The speech recognition is the icing on the cake – wonderful!
Synapptic gives the user the very best opportunity to feel part of - and contribute to - the modern world, despite any level of sight loss.