Apps for Tablets and Phones

People who have had strokes and aphasia might be candidates for using small computers (primarily tablets) for communication or to relearn how to speak. 

Tablets are a great way to help survivors get additional hours of therapy when insurance runs out. They can support better   independence, quality of life, and socialization, as this article notes.

These tablets are great for complex communication because they have a speech generating device, text to speech, virtual keyboards, pictures, symbols, and video; plus you can download Skype to make phone calls. 

Dedicated machines also exist from many vendors, such as from Tobii DynaVox or Lingraphica, both costing much more than the tablet-based solutions. While the barrier to entry to no-tech and low-tech AAC is low, acquiring a high-tech AAC device requires more steps and more effort. See How to Get High-Tech AAC Device from Lingraphica.

The iPad is the best platform for AAC for stroke survivors at the moment. Apple iPad is a small, portable, wi-fi enabled communication device that has a ten-hour battery and starts out with a price a little over $500. But Android-based devices are plentiful. (See the Android app store.)

See also: Best Apps for Stroke Patients

Augmentative and Alternative Communication covers a large range of techniques which support or replace spoken communication. In the following list, AAC means the iPad app speaks for you instead of helping you to improve your speech. As opposed to AAC apps, therapeutic apps help the patient practice (and thus improve) their speech.

Note: be sure to read this article about common misconceptions about AAC and aphasia. Also see this article about the low-tech versus the high-tech AAC remedies.

You can read my list of apps below, or for more, see:

Apps for AAC 

SmallTalk apps (free)
All the SmallTalk iPhone apps are not editable and icon-based.

  • Aphasia (blue) – a male voice speaks various words and phrases (includes the same words/phrases spoken by a woman’s mouth for practice).
  • Aphasia (pink) – same as #1, except using a female voice throughout
  • Conversation – a male or female voice speaks conversational phrases
  • ADL – a male or female voice speaks daily-activity words/phrases
  • ICU – a male or female voice speaks words/phrases for intensive care
  • Pain – a male or female voice speaks common words/phrases about pain intensity and location
  • Dysphagia – a male or female voice speaks various common phrases applicable to eating and swallowing!/smalltalk


ChatAble is an easy to use communication aid app for people who benefit from symbol and photo support.
  • 12 voices in American English, British English, and Australian English; customizable for pitch and rate
  • Create grids using cells and folders 
  • Create hybrid pages with cells with symbols and visual scene displays
  • Take photos to create visual scene displays with hotspots
  • 12000 Symbols

Proloquo2Go ($250)
The popular icon-based app is also the worst named. (Proloquor is Latin for "speak out loud.")

It provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices (American, British, and Indian English), high-resolution symbols, automatic conjugations, a default vocabulary of over 7000 items, word prediction, expandability, and accepts your own pictures.

Lots of great features and icons, but you can get lost using them.

OneVoice ($200)
Does less than Proloquo2Go in an attempt to make it easier to use. Comes with a pre-populated icon-based vocabulary (focused on children).

  • Add your own phrases and photos
  • 4 synthesized voices (2 male and 2 female)
  • 100 custom-made icons
  • Drag and drop organization of phrases and categories

Assistive Express ($25)
A simple keyboard-based app.
  • Word prediction to minimize the keystrokes required
  • Self-learning of new vocabulary into the word prediction list
  • Favorites list for users to save commonly used sentences
  • 3 voices included
  • Adjustable volume and speed for voices
  • Large font and buttons for easy access
  • Recent list for quick access to previously spoken sentences

Verbally (free, the full version is $100)
A keyboard-based solution to speak your words.
  • contains 50 essential words to save you typing.
  • offers common phrases to enable faster conversation.
  • Text prediction - learns the words you use.
  • Choice of 3 keyboard layouts.
  • Choice of male or female computer-generated voice.
  • Turn on “Speak Each Word” to have the app speak as soon as each word is completed or when you tap a phrase.
  • A chime to get someone’s attention.
  • Steady Hands feature makes the app type only when you lift your finger off of the intended letter on the keyboard.
  • No Wi-Fi or 3G connection required.

Talk Assist (free)
A simple keyboard-based iPhone app where anything you type will be spoken out loud using a computer-generated voice.

Phrases are saved to a history, and favorite phrases can be bookmarked for regular use.

Therapeutic iPad Apps

Constant Therapy ($20/month, 30-day free trial)
Constant Therapy is an iPad application with 60+ tasks with up to 10 challenge levels, allowing for personalized activity programs for each individual. Constant Therapy provides tools for stroke survivors who want to improve their speaking, reading, writing, counting money, solving problems, reading maps and calendars, and more. 

SmallTalk apps (free)
All the SmallTalk iPhone apps are not editable and icon-based.
  • Blends – video of a woman’s mouth saying /bl/, /br/, etc. up to /xt/ 
  • Phonemes – video of a woman’s mouth saying all the phonemes
  • Days – video of a woman’s mouth saying the days of the week, the months, and the ordinals to 31st
  • Letters – video of a woman’s mouth saying the letters of the alphabet, cardinal numbers to 20, and colors
  • Phrases – video of a woman’s mouth saying various common words and phrases
  • Oral Motor – video of a woman’s mouth doing lip, tongue, cheek, jaw, and soft palate exercises!/smalltalk

SpeakinMotion Trial (free, for now)
An iPhone app where the patient can follow close-up videos of mouth movements. The combination of visual, auditory, and in some cases, written cues prompts patients to produce speech.

The cost: “The basic idea is that there will be minimal to no cost associated with trying the technique. If you benefit from this technique, the basic service will be reasonably priced on a monthly basis, with no long-term commitments.”

Speech Trainer 3D ($8)
This is a 3D demonstration of all sounds in the English language. Has detailed 3D animations that demonstrate the correct positioning of the tongue, lips, and mouth.
  • Has 30 sounds represented; 23 consonants and 7 vowels.
  • Speech Trainer 3D demonstrates the sounds in two views: Front and Side View and uses the International Phonetics Alphabet.
  • In horizontal orientation, the camera goes on to show you your own face to help you practice (acts like a mirror).

Articulate it! Pro ($30)
Meant to help people practice their pronunciation skills (aimed at children).
  • Contains over 1000 images and all sounds of English. 
  • Audio recordings for every word.
  • Built in voice recording allows the person to compare their productions with the audio recording.!/id391296844?mt=8

Bla | Bla | Bla (free)
A variety of artistic faces that react to noise, with bigger reactions the louder the sound. This simple app encourages voicing (apraxia/aphasia) and loud voicing (dysarthria).

Speech Sounds on Cue ($29) 
Shows how to produce speech sounds and words. Contains 530 videos, sound clips, and color photos designed to help adults and children to produce the consonant speech sounds in isolation, in words, and in sentences.

iTunes also has a free Lite version that contains only words that begin with the letter W.

Dexteria  ($3) 
Dexteria is a set of therapeutic hand exercises that improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness. The exercises take advantage of the multi-touch interface to help build strength, control, and dexterity.

Spaced Retrieval Therapy ($3)
An app to improve memory of names, facts, and routines for all people, including those with memory impairments.

Comprehension Therapy ($20)
Targets auditory and reading comprehension of single words. Designed to help people with receptive aphasia and alexia. It can also be a tool to treat attention and other cognitive deficits.
  • 3 modes: Listen, Read, and Listen and Read
  • 500 nouns with full-color photographs, recorded voice, and clear text with the option of adding over 100 verbs and adjectives
  • Real recorded male voice provides neutral North American accent in slow, natural speech

Naming Therapy ($20)
Stroke and brain injured patients can practice word-finding on their own or with a therapist. Full-color photos with real recorded voice for over 500 nouns. App is self-scoring.

Goal Areas:
Word-Finding, Verbal Expression, Confrontation Naming, Responsive Naming, Cued Lexical Retrieval, Semantic Memory, Repetition, Circumlocution, Describing, Semantic Feature Analysis

Writing Therapy ($25)
An app to practice spelling single words and to practice write to dictation. With 4 modes and 3 levels of difficulty in each, users have access to 12 different exercises to practice spelling over 500 words.

Language Therapy Lite (free)
A trial of Language Therapy, a 4-in-1 app combining Comprehension, Naming, Writing, and Reading Therapy. Each Lite app contains reduced functionality with a limited set of words (5-7) instead of the 500-700+ included in the full versions. Add one of your own words to Writing & Naming Therapy instead of unlimited custom words in the full apps.
Have access to nearly every single-syllable word in the English language, suitable for all ages. Pick which sounds you want to appear in initial, medial, & final positions and then flip between sounds or words to create the targets you want. Then hear the sounds and words, or record yourself & play it back instantly.
  • over 2300 recordings of words in natural speech 
  • 125 phonemes and clusters
  • all vowels & consonants of Standard American English
  • over 250 sets of homophones

Apraxia Therapy ($20)
This app helps users say familiar sequences, conversational phrases, and multi-syllabic words. Each repetition in the hierarchy is intended to train the brain to produce clear speech in a way that encourages independence, self-monitoring, and generalization. Watching, listening, reading, tapping, and speaking in unison all combine to help those with limited to no spontaneous speaking ability to improve motor planning and speech fluency.

App features videos of 110 phrases, 5 sequences, and 60 long words.

MoreSpeech (web app, $24/month)

A multi-use app covering aphasia, reading, writing, and apraxia. 
  • 3 auditory discrimination activities
  • 15 listening activities (single word to sentence level)
  • 18 reading activities (letter to phrase level)
  • 11 writing activities (copying to whole word phrase completion
  • 5 speaking activities (naming & completion tasks)
  • 9 graded apraxia exercises
  • 4 levels within each activity module
  • All of the listening, reading & writing exercises can be accessed under the memory exercises but there is a delay before responses are required (i.e. to work on auditory/working/visual memory)