10 Free & Affordable Big Text Apps:
Affordable: 1 ($2.99)
None of the apps on this list contain ads or require in-app purchases or subscriptions and may be helpful when trying to communicate while wearing a mask. I went grocery shopping a few days ago and found it difficult to communicate while wearing a mask and trying to request specific items and quantities at the deli counter. So that got me searching through my apps to be better prepared for next time. Thankfully apps that were originally designed either for the Deaf or the Hearing Impaired or for use in noisy environments can now be helpful in a world where face masks are common. FYI… iOS Universal apps can be used on an iPhone or iPad. I found Android versions for two of the apps so I have included links for them below… just know I don’t have any Android devices so can’t comment on how well they work or what features are included on that platform.
Each app has different features so it’s important to try them out to see which one(s) may work best for you or in various situations. The descriptions below are based on the features I am seeing on my iPad Pro running iOS 10.3.3 and my iPhone 7 running iOS 13.4.1 so you may see slightly different options depending on your device and iOS running on that device.
Yes…. I have seen the face masks with the clear front but do not have access to one. I have seen mixed info about how easily you can breathe in them and from what I can tell they are difficult to find right now. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has tried one yet.
Of course I have no way to know how long any app will stay free so grab what you want quickly. Prices and availability were verified in the USA App Store at the time I wrote this post at 8:00pm CST on 6/20/20.
1. Just Big Text by David Coufal, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/just-big-text/id380965096, iOS Universal, iOS 10.0 or later, (type or use voice recognition, can create messages ahead of time and save for later use, very large full screen text, different font options, different color options for font and background, can sync across devices via iCloud), FREE
2. Make It Big by An Trinh, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/make-it-big/id479282584, iOS Universal, iOS 10.0 or later, (type or use voice recognition, very large full screen text, different font options, different color options for font and background, option for light or dark keyboard, can toggle off “Shake to flash” in the setting in the app (I toggled it off since I was worried about the possibility of the flashing triggering seizures), FREE
3. Audivision by ATeamer, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/audivision/id1141299943, iOS Universal, iOS 8.0 or later (type or use voice recognition, can adjust font size in the iPad “Settings” area for this app but the largest setting is not full screen sized), FREE
4. Statement – visual communication and large text by Todd Anderson, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/statement-visual-communication-and-large-text/id1018664801, iOS Universal, iOS 8.0 or later (type or use voice recognition, can create messages ahead of time and save for later use, large full screen text, white text on dark background, no setting options to change font or to change the color of the font or background), FREE
5. Sorenson BuzzCards by Sorenson Communications, Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sorenson-buzzcards/id380582593, iOS Universal, iOS 6.0 or later (type or use voice recognition (but voice recognition wasn’t as accurate), can create cards ahead of time and save for later use, cards are searchable and can be titled and organized by categories, black text on yellow background with faint honeycomb pattern, no setting options to change font, font size or to change the color of the font or background), FREE (Android version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sorenson.buzzcards, FREE)
6. Cardzilla by Ink & Salt LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/cardzilla/id623346823, iOS Universal, iOS 13.0 or later (but if previously purchased can download on device running older iOS …. just may not have as many features, type or use voice recognition, white text on black background, no setting options to change font, font size or to change the color of the font or background), has been FREE since December 2019 (Android version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nulltone.cardzilla, FREE)
7. eyeHear by eyeHear, LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/eyehear/id1321200884, iOS Universal, iOS 11.1 or later, (type or use voice recognition, can toggle between white background with black text and black background with white text, no setting options to change font or font size), FREE
8. Hearing Helper – Live Captions by Rob Norback, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hearing-helper-live-captions/id1391454121, iOS Universal, iOS 10.0 or later (can type or use voice recognition, can adjust font size (but the largest setting is not full screen sized), can flip text, no setting options to change font or to change the color of the font or background), currently $2.99
9. Flip Writer AAC – Unique Supports for Speech, Hearing, and Complex Needs by Navanit Arakeri, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/flip-writer-aac-unique-supports-for-speech-hearing/id946640730, iPad only, iOS 8.1 or later, usually $49.99, currently FREE
10. Flip Writer AAC Pocket by Navanit Arakeri, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/flip-writer-aac-pocket/id1294284906, iPhone or iPod Touch, iOS 10.0 or later, usually $24.99, currently FREE
It’s been over 4 years since the iPad version of Flip Writer has been free & the first time the iPhone version has ever been free. Based on previous pricing history they will likely only be free for a short time so get them quickly.
11. Type / ǝdλ⊥, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/type-%C7%9Dd%CE%BB/id1020070997, iOS Universal, iOS 7.1 or later, FREE
Although it hasn’t been updated in many years it currently works on my two iPad 8th gens on iOS 14.5 & iOS 15.4.1 and my iPhone 11 on iOS 14.8.
My guess is this app is the simplicity of this app has allowed it to continue to work without being updated.
I’m sharing it as something that is helpful when you need large text and a dual message window. It is easy to change the size of the text by pinching in/out on the message window.
It could be a good option for AAC users who want something simple to use on their iPhone or IPad and prefer not to have voice output.
But you could enable a voice to have the text spoken by having the following toggled on in the device Settings (gray gear): Accessibility – Spoken Content – Speak Selection. This section is also where you can choose an iOS voice, adjust the rate of speech, have text highlighted when spoken, edit pronunciations, etc.
Want to suggest an iOS app to be added to this list? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page. I’m pretty picky so they need to be well designed apps and for this type of app I don’t want any in-app purchases or subscriptions. If it’s a free app, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can download and try it out. If it’s a reasonably priced paid app ($4.99 or less) and you are the app developer, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can look at the info before you send a promo code. I want to make sure that one of my iPads or iPhone is compatible in order to try it out.
It took time to compile this list so please “tag” OMazing Kids when sharing it on social media and do not copy/paste it onto other blogs or documents or upload it to servers. I have it available here on my blog and plan on keeping my blog up for the foreseable future.
Have a question? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/.
Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC, OMazing Kids AAC Consulting