Africa

FEATURE – TECH IMPACT: Google launches Read Along app for young children

SABC News’ Tshepiso Moche reports on related tech developments in South Africa and globally. In this edition, he looks at Google’s Read Along app for young children.

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Google has launched a website for its Read Along app to encourage young children to practice reading.

Read Along aims to improve child literacy by using Google’s speech recognition technology to give kids reading aloud verbal and visual feedback.

It has been an Android app so far, which was first released as Bolo in India in 2019.

It was released globally as Read Along the following year.

Children can learn to speak languages like English, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Urdu by reading stories using Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech text.

While the app had the advantage of offline usage, the website can help people who have low storage on their phones or schools that have desktop computers.

The company said it’s partnering with new content providers to add more stories to the platform.

One of the other major differentiators between the website and the app is that if you are using the app, you don’t have to sign-in.

But if you are using a desktop, you will be required to sign in using your Google email address (Gmail).

Read Along’s Android app has been used by more than 30 million kids.

About 120 million stories have been read on the app since its launch in 2019.

Meanwhile, last month, Google added 24 languages to its Translate service.

Ten of them are in sub-Saharan Africa.

This is part of a drive to expand its online language databases and make the service more accessible to speakers of under-represented languages.

The video below is reporting more on the story:

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