Before I begin these comparisons, I thought it might be helpful to learn some about me, so you can understand where I am coming from. I have been a speech language therapist in a rural school district since August 2008. This was my first job after graduating with my master’s degree in Communicative Disorders. I work with approximately 45 kids ranging from ages 7 to 21. While looking at apps, I try to think of what will work best for that age group; however, I tried to keep the younger kids in mind while comparing these three apps. By far, my articulation apps are the most used apps on my iPad. I use them several times a day, and not just for articulation, but also for language (vocabulary, sentence building/grammar, reading practice, comprehension, and fluency are the other areas I usually address with these apps). Now, how about we get to the point of this list!The three apps I compared here are Articulation Station Pro by Busy Bee Speech, Articulate It! Pro by Smarty Ears, and ArtikPix by Expressive Solutions LLC. Here's a little information about each one to get us started:
Articulation Station Pro ($49.99, iPhone/iPad): No ads, no in-app purchase with the Pro version, links to website under unlocked info section
Articulation Station Pro from Busy Bee Speech is designed well for all age groups. It contains 22 different sounds that can be worked on in all positions of the word, sentence, and story levels. In addition, you can also play a matching game. There are so many fantastic things about this app, I will try just to highlight a few. First, this app is simple to use. I was able to start using it from the moment I first opened it. However, there are instructional videos available as well if needed. The only time I felt I needed to watch a video was to understand how to do group sessions. Once I watched it, setting up groups was a breeze. Articulation Station Pro also features two levels of sentence work. You have rotating sentences or unique sentences. Rotating sentences keeps the whole sentence the same, except for the target word. This is amazing for my students who have reading difficulties! Unique sentences is just what it says, each target word has a brand new sentence. Finally, the story level is also something that is special about this app. Again, there are two different levels. Level 1 is a shorter story, with picture cues, while level two is slightly longer. Both levels are jammed packed with target sounds, but the best part is the comprehension questions at the end. I feel like this makes the app so versatile! I use it not only for my articulation students, but I use the stories to work on listening comprehension and speech fluency too!
Articulate it! Pro ($39.99, iPhone/iPad): No ads, no in-app purchases, link to Facebook in the unlocked support section
Articulate it! Pro from Smarty Ears is an all-encompassing articulation app. It is designed for all age groups, but I found it worked best for my older students (8 years and up). It contains 23 different sounds to be worked on in all positions of the word, phrase, or sentence levels. You can also play a matching game. There are some great things about this app, too! Articulate it! Pro does not look at just the phonemes (sounds), but you can also work on phonological processes, manner of articulation, or select a certain number of syllables. Another difference that sets this app apart is the homework. You can print off homework to send home with the student to address your target sounds. The homework can be printed off for the initial, medial, or final position of the word, phrase, or sentence levels. Finally, this app just recently released an update that includes themes to the activity. For example, in November you may want to change your theme to Thanksgiving. The background of the app will change, and include a turkey gobble for incorrect or correct productions. For me personally, this app was a little more complicated to understand. However, the video tutorials were a huge help, and I definitely recommend watching them!
ArtikPix Full ($29.99 iPhone, iPad): No ads, no in-app purchases in the full version, link to more apps on the home screen
ArtikPix from Expressive Solutions, LLC is a basic articulation app. It can be used for all age groups, but I think would work best for kids younger than 8. This app contains 21 different phonemes that can be worked on at the initial, medial, or final position for most sounds (I have noticed that /r/ is not separated out into these three positions). You can choose to start with flashcards or a matching game. The flashcards make it easy to switch between word and sentence levels, as you only need to press flip and it will toggle between the word and sentence. The pictures are easily identifiable, making ArtikPix Full a great app to use for vocabulary development as well. One thing that sets ArtikPix apart from other articulation apps is that data can be sent to a spreadsheet. This makes it easy to create a chart to monitor progress over time.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of features to help you decide:
Articulation App Comparisons
I hope this helps you in your decision! If you would like to see different apps on this list, please let Smart Apps for Kids know, and we'll add some others on here!
Jenni is resting up and already preparing for next school year!