Google launches web version of its educational Read Along app for kids TechCrunch

Google has launched a website for its Read Along app to encourage young children to practice reading. The website, which is being released as a public beta, works with Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers on Desktop and Android, with support for iOS and other browsers such as Safari coming soon.

The concept of the website is similar to that of the app: children can learn to speak languages ​​such as English, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu , Gujarati and Urdu by reading stories using Google speech recognition and text-to-speech. text. A virtual assistant named Diya helps children pronounce words if he detects that they are struggling. Children can also ask Diya to help them pronounce unfamiliar words.

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

Although the app has the advantage of being used offline, the website can help people with low phone storage or schools with desktop computers. One of the other major differentiators between the website and the app is that the latter works without any connection. The new website requires Google account logins on the same device to track the progress of different children.

Google first launched the app as Bolo in India in 2019 with Hindi and English support and renamed it Read Along with additional language support for an audience wider in 2020. The search giant noted that since its launch, the app has helped more than 30 million children. read over 120 million stories.

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

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

The company is also working with India-based learning app Kutuki to adopt its English and Hindi alphabet books and phonics books for children as stories in the Read Along app, which will be available later. This year.

Sherry J. Basler