Speaky for iPad: Review

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Speaky is an app which highlights why the iPad is so cool. Very simply, all the app does is read webpages and text to you. However, the way the app is designed, makes the whole process completely streamlined.

I am a big fan of apps which help workflow and make your life easier, and Speaky is one of those apps. Here is the process:

Copy a link from Safari, go to Speaky, press the ‘+’ button, select ‘use copied URL’, press play. Simple and straightforward. You can even control the audio from your Control Center as the app supports background audio.

Speaky will then extract the text from a website, ignoring links and adverts, and use the Siri voice engine to read the page to you. I know you can turn on reading mode to read chunks of text to you in iOS 7, but using Speaky eliminates completely any fiddly stuff.

The app is really useful if you want to read a news article on a website, but you are doing something else with your eyes, like cooking or sorting out your collection of so bad they’re good 80s action movies (I have first hand experience of doing exactly this with Speaky, and no, I didn’t throw out Cobra).

Speaky also links with Pocket, which, much like Evernote, allows you to save webpages across platforms. You could, for example find interesting news stories on the web throughout the day, send them to Pocket and have Speaky read them to you later.

The only slight negative is that the voice is very robotic, being Siri, but obviously this is nothing to do with the app itself. This will improve as Siri improves.

Speaky is available from the App Store at this link. It’s currently free, but this is for a limited time so get it while you can as it looks like it might be $2.99 soon.

Disclosure: I downloaded the app whilst it was free.

James Potter

My day job is Director of Technology at one of the UK's leading independent schools. I'm on a daily mission to use, and learn to use technology in the most creative, innovative and transformational ways. The iPad ticks all of these boxes. I'm also an Apple Distinguished Educator, so at least Apple think I know what I'm blathering on about. My geekery also extends to a passion for cricket, amateur astronomy, video gaming and bad guitar playing. You can contact me on Twitter with the link below.

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