Thursday, January 29, 2015

App Review: My First AAC

The following is an app review. The views are my own. I received no compensation for expressing my opinions.  Links (in dark red) are provided for your convenience. Want to see larger pictures? Just click on one and scroll through!

I used MyFirst AAC (NCSOFT) with a student I had in a previous school. He was being seen at a nearby university, and the clinical director recommended the app to his mother.

 Appreciated Features:
Different (and appropriate) categories to choose from:
Categories can be changed by either touching the big arrow beside the category in the top of the screen, or by touching the button just to the lower right of the arrow on the right of the category header. That will take you to the screen shown above.

The ability to disable categories as needed, as well as move them around within the app (using the double bars on the right of each line...just touch and drag to where you want it):
Easy manipulation of the icons within each category. Even though the settings page only gives the option of 2 or 8 icons, you can delete as many as you want until you have the desired amount of choices the child can handle.
(By touching and dragging the icons, you can place them in the position on the page that you want.)

Adding your own icons. If you don't see an icon that you need, it's very easy to add your own by using a picture from your iPad and recording your voice or a child's voice.


Changing voices from male to female. In the "Settings" home page, touch the picture of the boy or girl for the appropriate gender.
 Adding personal information. By touching any of the 4 icons on the bottom of the screen shown above, the information can be recorded so that it is relevant to the student using the app.

The ability to lock the screen so that the child doesn't accidentally change categories. This is easily accomplished by touching the button in the top right corner of the screen. (You'll know it's locked because the category picture becomes smaller.)
What I would like to see:
  A "Teacher edition" would be nice so that the SLP/teacher can have more than one student using the app during training.
 When using less than 8 icons but more than 2, there should be a way to get rid of the "Touch to Add" shadow. 

Additional Comments:
When the preschool teacher & I started using the app, there was a huge snaffoo following an update. As in, there were features we needed that wouldn't work. It took quite a while before either one of us received an answer. Apparently, even though Injini's name is still on the app, they sold the app to another developer. The original developer quickly emailed me and let me know what was going on, and was concerned at the long response time I was experiencing. It took longer than we believe it should have to get a response (at least 2 weeks), but once we did, it was fixed rather quickly. I'm not sure if this has been remedied since I haven't experienced any other problems. I noticed that Injini is still listed as the contact, even though emailing them won't help.

When I spoke with the clinical director at the university prior to purchasing the app, I questioned the transfer of the child from My First AAC to another AAC App. I would assume that once a child has mastered this app, he wouldn't have any trouble transferring to another app such as Sonoflex (Tobii) or Proloquo2Go. I wasn't able to get that far with the student, so I don't have any hands-on experience with that.


   My First AAC  is available for purchase for $24.99. To view in iTunes, click here.

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