Yesterday, we met a friend of mine and her family at Skytree Soramachi and spent the morning at Kodomo no Yu (こどもの湯) play area. It’s an indoor ball pit that looks like a sentō, Japanese-style bathhouse.
My 4-and-half-year old daughter jumped right into the pool of balls and even made a new friend. Her younger brother, who is 1 year and 9 months old, was a bit careful at first but it didn’t take too long before he got into it.
The area called “Festival Square” is not a big space but they had a good time playing at kids-size storefronts (takoyaki, sushi, and veggie shops).
Until May 6, you can see 1,000 Koinobori carp streamer under Skytree as well 🎏
Lately, I’ve been really into listening to as much content as possible. In addition to podcasts, web pages, and audiobooks, I started listening to PDF documents these days.
iOS native text-to-speech (TTS) feature is fine for short text but isn’t great for PDFs. So I started searching for an app that suits my need.
Trying Out Four Apps
At first, Capti Voice app seemed to be very promising. But after I used it for a few days, I found the rich text mode (free version) to be buggy with PDF documents. I tried the original layout mode with a free upgrade trial and it worked okay.
Then I tried NaturalReader. I didn’t have much to complain about this one, but I wasn’t convinced enough to upgrade to the paid version.
The next one was vBookz PDF Voice Reader. Similar to NaturalReader, this is also a solid app with basic features for reading PDF files. If you like following the text while it’s being read, this app has a nice text mode that makes it easy.
Then finally, I read several good reviews about Voice Dream Reader and decided to purchase it.
Winner: Voice Dream Reader
I immediately liked Voice Dream Reader. Things I liked:
The navigation control is much easier than in other apps
Lots of shortcut gestures
You can add custom pronunciation of words/phrases via the dictionary feature
In addition to iOS system voices, you can add one of the voices provided by Acapela/Ivona/ NeoSpeech comes with the app for free
The app is stable; no annoying issues like skipping to random locations
I wish it had a free trial version, but other than that I have no complaints.
For Free: Capti Voice
Even though I wasn’t happy at all with the unsteadiness of the app’s rich text mode, I think it’s an okay solution for someone who is looking for a free PDF reading app.
Voice Dream Reader (English/Spanish/Japanese) – my own demo!