After months of anticipation the Blio app is out for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The app is free from the iTunes App Store. Blio is an eReader that can read PDF, ePub and XML books. To add a book either select a file and press open with Blio or transfer the file to Blio via iTunes. Once the books is in the Blio bookshelf there are many reading options including text-to-speech. Unfortunately the text-to-speech voice is not included and costs $10 as an app purchase. Blio can also sync audio books with the text and highlight as each word is being read.
Blio also includes an elegant note taking system that is similar to iBooks. To add a note select a section of text and then press note then a note will appear allowing you to type your note. Blio also allows you to search the text of a book.
One of Blio strongest features is visual customization options. From within the visual settings menu you can change the view, text size and more. On the iPhone and iPod Touch there is another view called “fast.” Blio claims this view can increase reading speed and eliminate eye strain. “Fast” view shows one word at a time in large print in the center of the screen and then changes the word automatically as you read. In “fast” view you hold your finger on the right edge of the screen then side your finger down to decrease word speed and up to increase word speed.
Another handy feature is Blio’s one touch look up feature which allow you to get a definition of a word or look up a word or phrase using Wikipedia or Encyclopedia Britannica. Blio is a worth a try because of its text-to-speech capabilities and visual customization options. Keep in mind that Blio is free but the text-to-speech voices cost $10 each.