Monday, July 17, 2017

Speech Blubs {app review}

A few months ago, I wrote a post about an app called First Blubs.  It was an app designed for early communicators to begin to imitate animal sounds.  The developers of this app have decided to discontinue First Blubs and focus their efforts on a new app called Speech Blubs.  Check out the new one below.

Let's get really honest and blunt for a second.  This is something I think you all need to know up front.  Normally, I don't post negative reviews.  However, I think it is important for me to post this, as I reviewed their first one and my name has been used in their marketing of this app.

The app is moving to a subscription-based model, where it will cost $9.99/month after a free trial. That's $119.88 per year! The previous app was a one-time cost of $6.99.  I do not agree with this model and think it is extremely overpriced.  So that being said, I cannot recommend this app. I don't think it's worth what they are asking, just to be 100% transparent. I find it extremely hard to believe that SLPs and parents would be willing to pay that price for this app.

So with that being said, here is what the new app is all about.  It is again an app designed for early communicators.  When you first start, the app will take you through a screener based on the child's age.

Based on the results of the screener, recommendations are made.  It says, "Therapist recommends," but I'm not sure who this "therapist" is since the app was not developed by a speech-language pathologist.  It is also somewhat misleading, as no app should replace speech and language therapy.  I also would like for me, as a therapist, to be able to change the recommendation.

The app currently has 3 different areas to practice: Early Sounds, Mouth Gym, First Words.  All of them are video modeling with elementary-age kids.  Early sounds is very similar to First Blubs in that kids will imitate animal sounds.  In Mouth Gym, kids will imitate speech sounds.  In First Words, kids will imitate simple words.

-video modeling can be effective
-the use of stickers, animals, and silly hats is engaging

Things to Update:
-the price to a one-time cost and not a subscription-based model
-to be able to change the time recommendations for practice
-not all models of the words and sounds are ideal--some are held out or the incorrect production of the sound

So you can decide for yourself if this app is worth it.   I would recommend doing a trial first to play with the app.  If you choose not to continue, make sure you delete the app and cancel the subscription prior to the 7th day.

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