In the age of information, having the ability to read is not just a must but a need. A recent report from India says that in the rural parts of the country, half of the students enrolled in Grade 5 can confidently read a textbook….from the Grade 2 level. Obviously, this will affect their further education and so Google has now come up with a reading-tutor app that parents can use to help their kids have better reading skills.

Bolo is an Android app that is now available only in India that is designed for primary grade students. It uses speech recognition and text-to-speech technology to help kids and their parents to practice reading through their smartphone. It even has a reading buddy named Diya that will help the child by encouraging, explaining, and correcting mistakes by aiding them when they read aloud.

The app initially has 50 stories in Hindi and 40 in English from the Storyweaver.org.in library and they will be adding more stories from other partners in the future. There are also word games that the kids can play and they can earn badges and rewards as well. They can track their progress and if multiple kids use the app (which they can), their individual progress is checked and tracked.

The best news is that of course the app and the stories you can access is absolutely free. Plus, you can use it offline so that there are no other distractions for the kid (and for you) when it’s reading time. Safety and security for the kids is also a priority with the app so all personal information stays on the device only.

The Bolo app is now available for download under an open Beta program. Anyone with an Android smartphone running on Android 4.4 KitKat and above can use the app, as long as you’re in India. No news yet if it will be available in other countries but Google did say it will evolve in other languages.

SOURCE: Google India