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The impact of the Coronavirus on the world general is still yet to fully surface. Since the outbreak, virtually every activity has been put on hold, and businesses forced to shut down. Kids are not exempted from this as well, as school activities have been shut down worldwide, forcing grade students, high school students and college students to stay home. One of the biggest tech companies in the world, Google is aiming to keep grade students busy through their new app, Read Along.

Google is launching an app, Read Along, that aims to assist grade school students to practice their reading skills and stay educationally engaged amid school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. The new Android app is predicated on Google’s existing application, Bolo, which was launched in India last year with a catalog of read-along stories in both English and Hindi. The updated and rebranded version is now globally available with support for nine languages. 

Google Launch Read Along App to Help Grade students
Google Read Along

Like Bolo, Read Along leverages Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech to assist kids learn to read. The app includes a built-in reading assistant named Diya. As kids read aloud, Diya detects if the kid is battling a passage and may jump in with positive reinforcement or help. At any time, the kid can ask Diya to assist them to  read a sentence or pronounce a word they don’t know.

As children progress within the app, they’re presented with mini word games and earn in-app prizes as they improve their skills.

Google says the app was built with children’s privacy in mind and is in a position to figure without either Wi-Fi or data. The voice data is analyzed in real-time on the device, and isn’t synced, stored or analyzed on Google’s servers. The corporation also stresses that it’s not employing a voice sample from the youngsters to form the merchandise better.

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The app doesn’t include advertising or in-app purchases, either. Parents can prefer to hook up with the web if they need to download additional stories, but there isn’t a charge.

At launch, Read Along offers around 500 stories and therefore the catalog is continually expanded with new books. Since its debut as Bolo in March 2019, Google says feedback from parents was encouraging, prompting it to bring the app to new markets. While in India “Bolo” is broadly understood to mean “speak,” Google rebranded the app to Read Along to resonate with parents and youngsters around the world. 

The app has also been updated with an enhanced library, new games and other interface improvements since launch. The new Read Along app is now globally available, except within the Philippines, Colombia and Denmark, and offers stories in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

This app is coming in a great time of need as children who originally are supposed to be in school are now forced to stay home. It offers to keep kids busy with fun games and stories while keeping their brains busy as well.

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