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Benetech Unveils Bookshare Reader Suite for Web, Mobile, and Smart Speaker Devices

Announcing a new suite of free reading software for school, work, and leisure that breaks down barriers for people with dyslexia, vision loss, and other reading challenges

Benetech, the parent company of Bookshare, is excited to introduce a suite of free reading apps for people with reading barriers: Bookshare Reader for Web, Bookshare Reader for iOS, Bookshare Reader for Android, and Bookshare Reader for Alexa. This suite of free tools, available summer 2022, will make reading accessible books easier than ever before. 

What is Bookshare Reader for Web and Mobile?

Bookshare Readers for web, iOS, and Android, provide a consistent user experience across a standard set of easy-to-use reading applications. The new readers feature intuitive controls and enhanced configuration features.

  • Ease of use: Read instantly with no waiting time, and enjoy intuitive navigation and robust keyboard shortcuts.
  • Customization settings: Mix and match colors for background, text, and highlighting, and choose from expanded voice options. 
  • Enhanced math support: the new Bookshare reader will have the capability to read equations in accessible math books using MathML.
  • Read anywhere: Download books to a smartphone or tablet to read anytime, anywhere using the Bookshare Reader Apps for iOS and Android.

What is Bookshare Reader for Alexa?

With just their voice, users can open the Bookshare Reader for Alexa and listen to virtually any book, magazine, or newspaper in high-quality text-to-speech audio. The Alexa Skill is available to use on any Alexa-enabled device, including smartphones with the Alexa app. Now in beta, the reader can be found in the Alexa App store and is available to any individual Bookshare member. 

New features coming soon include: 

  • Live support with in-app calling: Call Bookshare customer support directly from the Alexa app.
  • Connect with the Bookshare community: Use the Alexa skill to call into Bookshare community events, such as the monthly Bookshare Book Club, and connect with fellow readers.  
Bookshare Reader logo. Alexa speaker, a laptop and a mobile phone each have the reader suite open on the book, Frog and Toad.

What’s so cool about it? (OR…Why are we so excited?)

This new suite of apps gives Bookshare users a free, standard set of reading tools that they can customize and use across devices to read over a million titles – including novels, textbooks, nonfiction,  academic journals, newspapers, and magazines – in ways that work for them.

When will it be available?

Bookshare Reader for the Web is currently in private testing in select school districts across the US. Bookshare Reader for the Web and the mobile app will be available to the public in summer 2022. 

Bookshare Reader for Smart Speaker is currently in beta release and only available to Bookshare Individual Members. Find it in the Alexa App store.

Future releases will provide access to students and educators on school organizational accounts.

I like the app that I currently use, will I still be able to use it?

Yes! We believe that you should read your way. There are many reading tools that work with Bookshare. Choose the one that works best for you.

Learn more about Bookshare Reader for Smart Speakers. 

Learn more about Bookshare for schools. 

Learn more about Bookshare for students and parents. 

12 Comments

  1. Dawn

    Wow! It sounds exciting! I do have a question though. How much will the Mobile Reader for IOS cost?

    • Julianna Wright, Communications Manager

      It will be free!

  2. tina sohl

    Do you need testers for the android version?

    • Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications

      Tina: We welcome your assistance when the private beta version of Bookshare Reader for mobile is ready. I have forwarded your email to the product manager who will contact you when testing begins. Thank you!

  3. Ayoola Efunkoya

    Can I also join in test the Android app when it’s ready for beta?

    • Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications

      Yes, thanks. I forwarded your email to the product manager.

  4. This is exciting and I can’t wait to try it out. I currently have Easy Reader from Dolphin on my iPhone, and am wondering if the BookShare section of that app will work with your upcoming product? Thank you.

    • Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications

      Jake: Yes, Bookshare will continue to work as is on Dolphin EasyReader and all other third-party reading apps. Our goal is to offer additional reading options to Bookshare users who are looking for a free, standard set of reading tools that are highly customizable, but these new tools don’t affect the user’s ability to read Bookshare books on other reader applications.

  5. Staci Gutzman

    I am willing to help test the android app when available. We only use android tablets and Chrome books.

    • Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications

      Staci: I gave your name and email to the Bookshare Reader product manager and she added it to the list. You will receive more information later. Thanks for offering to test!

  6. Carolyn Rasta

    Hi, This is so exciting! Do you need any testers for the iOS version? Thanks, Carolyn

    • Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications

      Carolyn: thanks for your offer to test the iOS version of the new Bookshare Reader for mobile. It is currently under development and we are planning a public beta test in the next few months. I added your name to the list of testers and you will receive a notification when testing begins.

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