I was thrilled to have opportunity to Beta Test this latest update of Proloquo2Go with the word prediction system.
Any users of Keystrokes for Mac’s will recognise the way it works instantly and as I already have been using Keystrokes for a few years now I kinda had a feeling this was going to good if it was based on that system!
The word prediction bar sits on top of the qwerty keyboard (when you go into keyboard within P2G app) and simply offers predictions as you type.
You can choose to have as many or as few predictions as you want on it. Obviously more predictions will make each selection a little smaller so if you do have issues with dexterity you might find it easier to have fewer options. A child who is still learning to read might also find it less confusing if you choose to have fewer options.
If you go into settings (iPad settings) and choose Proloquo2go then Prediction you can choose from 2-10 or ‘as many as fit’
This is what it looks like smaller with more predictions:
This is larger with fewer predictions. I find around 5 gives me a nice size ‘button’ to hit. When you turn it on you get this selection for 5 words
If the word you want isnt there just simply type your first letter eg ‘W’
Turning the option on to learn, speeds things up. If you choose Multi Word predictions in the settings it will predict middles or entire ends of sentences as in the example above. So if you are using the keyboard as your main communication method and just using the grid for pre-stored information such as about yourself, medical info etc then using the keyboard then becomes a lot more efficient.
If I had already typed ‘I was in the bath when she called. ‘ the next time I started a sentence with I, I also got these included.
If you didn’t want that exact sentence you would get different choice by pressing ‘in’ or ‘in the’ rather than ‘in the bath’ on the first screen.
Note it is the punctuation that helps it learn the sentence so if that was a one off sentence I didn’t want it to learn I might just type it without the full stop then speak it, whereas if it’s a sentence I might say often such as ‘My dog’s name is Inca.’ if I make sure I add the full stop at end the first time I type it, it will learn it.
If like me you have combination of memory issues and difficulty with co-ordination you may find it easier to spend some time putting sentences in with full stops at end so it will learn your most used sentences and selecting to have fewer predictions.
If its for a child you could put family/pet’s names in with the full stop after and it will predict. You might want to use this feature to improve literacy skills if your child is able to move on from selecting a symbol to represent a sentence. so may type ‘my rabbit’s name is Fluffie. (don’t forget the full stop!) so when the child selects ‘M’, then ‘My rabbit’s’ should appear in the next prediction, if they select that then ‘name is Fluffie’ should come up etc.
Because Proloquo2go does not just learn individual words, but also word combinations it learns each time you use some punctuation such as comma, period, question mark, etc. I only typed in each sentence ONCE, as long as you remember to put the punctuation on the end if you want it to ‘learn’ it, it will come up the next time you try to type the sentence in.
This is an handy feature for a parent who can put the sentences in first ensure that prediction will come up before the child uses the keyboard.
Even typing in general, words for a sentence that you may only type once, the prediction works well, there is logical choice of words that usually follow each other in sentences. The Word completion feature built into Apple’s devices still continues to work so between them both you get a very effective system, even if like me you prefer fewer predictions and larger ‘buttons’.
On the iPad version the prediction works in both portrait and landscape mode, but on iPhone/iPod Touch in portrait mode only due to lack of space in landscape on the smaller screen.
The only thing is It doesn’t speak word for word as you type into the larger box, unless you sent it into the box above after each word, so a child used to getting verbal feedback after each selection might still prefer to select words from within the grid system.
I have mine set for speak sentence only anyway and its a feature which older user’s may prefer. It really depends how you use the feature whether its only to type words that you haven’t put on the grid pages, or whether you use the keyboard/word prediction as your main method and the grid as pages of background information about yourself, condition, family etc
Overall its an excellent addition to Proloquo2go and my favourite update so far!!
**UPDATE** – It is now possible to create shortcuts via iOS menu, which will expand in Proloquo2Go now.
You can also choose to speak each word as you type it in typing mode now.