Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Google's 'Read Along' App to Be Released in Arabic Version

Thu 10 Sep 2020 | 10:45 AM
Ahmed Yasser

Google announced the Arabic version of its application "Read Along" on International Literacy Day, which is a free application that provides an enjoyable interactive experience to help children from the age of five improve their reading skills in Arabic, with the help of a virtual character within the application named “Diaa”, provided that the application is currently available for Android users just.

Also, the app distinguished by not requiring the need to connect to the Internet, and here Read Along uses Google’s speech recognition technology and for young readers to share visual and verbal notes while they read books available from around the world.

On other hand, almost 100 million children between the ages of five and 17 in the Middle East and North Africa have experienced school closures since the Covid-19 pandemic began and many are relying on alternate means of education, according to Unicef.

Read Along, which was launched in March last year in India before a global roll-out, works even when users are offline. It is free to use and does not contain advertisements to avoid distractions, according to The National.

According to Google, the app has had a positive impact on children’s reading abilities, the company said. After using it for 100 minutes, children who read at a speed of less than 45 correct words per minute saw an improvement of anywhere from 35 per cent to 85 per cent in their oral reading fluency.

Read Along explained that more than 32 million stories have been read on the app and more than 3 million hours have been spent there trying to improve their reading skills.

More importantly, they noted that their internal analysis shows an improvement of 38 to 88% in the reader’s oral reading fluency after they spent 100 minutes reading on the app. In India, the assessment is that 40% of students who used the app saw an improvement in one or more reading levels.

Later, in collaboration with institutions such as Moscow’s State Darwin Museum and London’s Natural History Museum. Google recreated ancient creatures with the help from Augmented Reality (AR).

Prehistoric animals like Cambropachycope, an ancient crustacean with a distinctive pointy head covered in tiny eyes or the oldest large filter feeder, the fish that swims poorly, or the largest animal ever to live on Earth have been brought back to life with the help from AR.

Other exhibits include prehistoric creatures like the Aegirocassis, as well as objects like a pre-Inca statue that dates back to 500 BCE.

There are also paintings available to view in augmented reality like a self-portrait from Frida Kahlo, or Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. Once you’ve placed the exhibit into your room, you’re free to film it or take photos using your phone’s camera, according to

As well as museum exhibits, Google has adding augmented reality creatures to its search results. Since Google I/O 2019 the company has made a number of 3D animals available to view, recently expanding its offering to include dinosaurs and insects.