Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WordQ 3.0 released

WordQ came out in a new version today, amidst other branding changes for the word-prediction software. The publisher is now called goQsoftware, and they've totally built a new website from scratch.

I downloaded the WordQ 3.0 30-day trial version and had some trouble with missing topic lists that the installer was looking for. The software itself looks almost the same. The SpeakQ microphone is now located to the left of the Words and Speech button in the toolbar, and the Playback button (which I had trouble getting to work properly on my computer) is gone.

Don't expect many new features in version 3.0. Perhaps the biggest new feature is a built-in thesaurus. It works in a similar fashion to the example sentence feature for confusable words: hover on certain words (indicated with a diamond) and a list of synonyms will appear and be spoken by the TTS.
There is an abbreviation expander (found under Options / My Words / Abbreviations) that lets you type in a shortcut for a longer string of text. When this feature is enabled, you can type the shortcut and it will automatically be replaced with the longer string. Another new feature, under Options / Preferences, allows you to choose to automatically launch WordQ on login... a convenient feature which will encourage students who need the software, to use it. The Help menu adds a link to online how-to videos and checking for updates.

For Ontario schools and teachers, version 3 has been licensed by OSAPAC, so it will soon be on computers across the province, replacing Co:Writer as the word-prediction software chosen by the province. The especially great news about this acquisition by OSAPAC is that Ontario students will have the right to install the software on their personal computers.

I didn't get a chance to try out SpeakQ 3.0 (they synchronized version numbers with WordQ by skipping SpeakQ version 2.x), but I don't think there will be too many differences. I didn't see any new features in the User's Guide.

If you already own version 2.x of WordQ (version 1.x of SpeakQ), I don't really see the need to pay for an upgrade. I didn't see any discount for owners of previous versions (granted, the website's only been up for a few hours and that info may be coming soon).

WordQ 3.0 costs USD$199 and WordQ + SpeakQ is USD$279.

4 comments:

  1. Hi CyberSERT. Thank you for your review of WordQ 3. I am from Strategic Transitions Inc., the global distributor of WordQ and SpeakQ. I would just like to say that I appreciate you taking the time to let people know about all of the various pieces of assistive technology that are available. We are also very excited about being able to make WordQ available through OSAPAC and are extremely happy that all of the teachers and students here in Ontario will be able to have home use of our software.

    There are a few other features that I would please like to add to the list of what is new in WordQ 3.
    - Includes English, French, German and Spanish language support
    - Includes 64-bit support for Win 7 and Mac OS 10.6
    - Includes built-in update checking
    - Includes minor bug fixes

    With regards to upgrades the pricing is as follows:
    - There is a free upgrade to version 3 for those who have purchased WordQ and SpeakQ after June 1st, 2010
    - Boxed DVD upgrades: WordQ is $99.50, SpeakQ is $49.50 and WordQ + SpeakQ is $139.50
    - Digital download upgrades: WordQ is $74.50, SpeakQ is $37.50 and WordQ + SpeakQ is $99.50

    We now also offer online activation codes for the software with the following pricing:
    WordQ is $149.00, SpeakQ is $69.00 and WordQ + SpeakQ is $199.00

    Once again thank you for all of the great work that you do in keeping the public informed about assistive technology.

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  2. Im looking to know who the offical publisher or creator of Word Q? Doing a software review for a class!

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    Replies
    1. A tricky question. Originally it was developed by Quillsoft Ltd. and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto; Frasier Shein was mainly the person responsible for its development. Quillsoft doesn't seem to exist anymore. GoQSoftware is the publisher now (maybe just a name change) and the software is distributed in the United States by ST4Learning and in Canada by Strategic Transitions. Strategic Transitions would be a good place to contact for more info.

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    2. By the way, WordQ 4 is now out. I have been too busy with work to try it out as of yet.

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