MyTalk is a communication app (AAC) that talks for you. Rather than storing their vast database of images on your device, the developer chose to store it online, which is nice in the fact that it frees up space on your iPhone (or iPad, or iPod Touch). The developer also provides copious web support through their site, which includes YouTube videos. That’s a huge help! Initial setup of MyTalk takes some time, but that’s to be expected since it should be customized for your child in order to be most useful. But when you purchase there are already some ‘boards’ setup for you which you can use as examples.
MyTalk is a fully independent communication app. However, optionally, you can take advantage of MyTalk’s online Workspace, which makes it easier to create and edit ‘boards’ through it’s increased functionality. But that’s completely separate and optional – though you get a free 30-day trial of the Workspace when you purchase the app. For the sake of this review I want to focus on the app itself and MyTalk’s interface on your iPhone is easy for a user to figure out.
Author mode, which you’d use to setup the app, requires you to create or logon with a username and password. Since version 2.2 there have been several improvements to MyTalk that make this AAC app very high end in my opinion. First, it’s now easier to make your own icons/boards. The developer has also added support for VGA out, text-to-speech, and web search capabilities for images. WOW! This app packs so many useful features that I can’t discuss them all here. Bick Pratt, the developer, wants you to be happy and he’ll do whatever he can to help you.
MyTalk is very customizable, top to bottom and it’s extremely robust. The way it lends itself to organizing the various boards is very natural and intuitive. For example, touching a Food icon can lead you to another child board with icons for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Touching the dinner icon can lead you to real dinner choices but also a restaurants icon. Beneath the restaurants icon you could have the various restaurants in your area, on and on. It all depends on how you organize it, so you’ll want to put some thought into this.
A big plus is that you can download the free version of MyTalk to try it out with your child just to make sure it’s the right solution before spending money. You can’t do that with any of the other communication app’s. Other developers simply don’t give you the choice before you commit the money. But the developer of MyTalk, a father of a child with a disability, is passionate about continuing to deliver a great product to help other parents. And I believe he has done that.
One improvement I’d like to see is the ability to adjust columns/rows on an existing board through the mobile interface. Currently that can’t be done. Once you decide on a board with 3 columns and 3 rows, you can’t go back later to make it 2 columns and 2 rows. But, if you’re looking for an AAC solution for your child MyTalk is at the front of the pack. You’d be wise to give it a hard look. And don’t worry about which Apple device you have because MyTalk looks and runs beautifully on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch!