By Michael Bergmann
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iMean turns iPad into a letterboard with large easy-to-read keys and word suggestions. I developed it to help my autistic son communicate and formulate his thoughts. Richie Meade-Miller did the programming. My son enjoys the word suggestions not just for speed but because they make him read. We are hoping that other people who use typing or facilitated communication because they cannot speak or speak well will enjoy this app too.
We have found iPad makes it easy to switch into this app from reading or watching a video so we can discuss what we are studying and then switch back again.
Unlike icon-based systems this app is dedicated to text and the subtleties of expression and immense developmental potential that using text and formulating thoughts offers many people on the autistic spectrum.
The app saves what's been spelled and features large YES and NO buttons in the main view.
iMean's word prediction offers up to three possible word suggestions as the user is typing. These can be selected with one tap of the finger. This speeds communication and also fosters visual scanning and reading as the user looks at the words and considers whether they are what she or he is trying to spell.
There are four views, a large keyboard in alphabetical order, a full-screen qwerty keyboard, a numeric view for entering numbers and an editing view that makes use of the standard iPad QWERTY keyboard as well as the Apple-built edit, select and copy functions which can be used to transfer the text to other applications such as word processing and mail.
In future updates we hope to offer file management so you can work on more than one document at a time and a keyboard that can be enlarged by pinching like a web site.
We are delighted that iMean now has the ability to speak the text that is entered.
Comments and feature requests are welcome via "email me" at www.iMean.mobi.
What's New in Version 1.6
iOS 7 compatibility: fixed an issue where the app would rotate and go off the screen if you navigated away from it and came back.