August 23, 2019

Learning Ally Introduces Upgraded Accessible Audiobook App for Apple

iPhone screen full of apps, with highlighted Learning Ally Audio iconLearning Ally (JAWS still does not say it correctly) has released a new version of their audio bookreader for Apple iOS. The upgrade allows the user to play DAISY-formatted audiobooks from the Learning Ally library on such portable Apple tech as the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod Touch. The app is available through iTunes for $19.99. According to the FAQ, no re-authentication is needed for Learning Ally members already using the earlier version known as RFB&D.

The upgraded app, Learning Ally Audio, offers advanced accessibility features, including page and chapter navigation, variable speed and pitch control, bookmarking capabilities, and Apple VoiceOver compatibility. These features are joined by the following nifty new abilities:

  • Play while locked. The new version can continue playback after the Apple device locks and turns off the screen to save battery life. This function can be turned on or off through the iOS “Settings” app.
  • Open with last book played at last point played. The new version resumes reading where users left off the last time that they ran the app. This feature can be turned on or off through the iOS “Settings” app.
  • Remember speed control and other settings. When these settings are changed, they will be remembered across all books and sessions.

According to Andrew Friedman, Learning Ally’s President and CEO, “More exciting things are coming down the road. Looking ahead to this fall, the Learning Ally Audio app will include text to speech functionality, enabling our learners to enjoy the best of both worlds: human narration as well as text content of their books and reading materials. With the new version of our app, we continue our commitment to develop technology that makes reading accessible for all learners.”