Darwin DAISY Reader Quick Start Guide

Original Author(s): Prashant Ranjan Verma

Darwin Reader is a paid book reading app designed specifically for blind, low vision, and print disabled users by New Designs Unlimited LLC. This app can be purchased for Android mobile phones and tablets from the Google Play Store where a free 30 day trial is also available.

Darwin Reader logo

Darwin Reader fully supports DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3 format text-only, audio-only and full text full-audio books. This app integrates directly with Bookshare and Librivox and makes searching and downloading of books very simple. DAISY books can also be copied to the device memory manually for reading in Darwin Reader.

Darwin Reader supports changing font and background colours, text size, font spacing, voice speed, punctuation speech, bookmarking and word definition look-up.

To add books

The first screen of the app is the Library view. All books added to the app are displayed there.

Tap Options and then tap Download Books in the menu. The Darwin Reader Book Sources screen is displayed. Three main sources for adding books to Darwin Reader are Bookshare, LibriVox and Transfer from Computer.

If you have a Bookshare account you can tap on Benetech Bookshare and then enter your login details. You will then be able to browse the Bookshare catalogue or search for your favourite titles. You can view the book information and synopsis of the titles and tap the Download button to add it to the library for reading.

If you have manually copied DAISY books to the device memory then in the Book Sources screen tap Transfer from Computer. In the next screen tap on Select the Book to open the File Manager. Select the folder containing the DAISY book and then select the "ncc.html or the .OPF" file to add the book to the library. You can now go back to the Darwin Reader main screen – the Library view to open a book for reading.

Reading books

There are two reading modes in Darwin Reader. The Eyes-free mode is suitable for visually impaired users who may like to focus on the audio and the Graphical mode is good for users with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

You are prompted to choose the reading mode at the time of opening the first book. You can switch between the two modes at any time by tapping the Options key.

Gestures are used for navigation within a book in the eyes-free mode. Swipe up or down to move between sections, swipe right or left for next and previous sentences and tap to play or pause playback. Note that when the Talkback screen reader is active you will have to use two fingers to swipe and double tap to play/pause.

In the graphical mode, the book text is displayed on the screen with buttons for navigation at the bottom. The outmost buttons are for navigation to sections and the centre button is for starting and stopping reading. The other two buttons are for moving to the next and previous sentences.

In both the reading modes you can press the options key and then tap on Navigation to open the table of Contents of the book. This view will also allow you to see the page list if it exist in the currently open DAISY book.

You can tap the Options key and then go into Settings to customize the appearance of the text and reading style.

To know more about other features of the app like bookmarks and keyboard shortcuts you may read the Darwin Reader Documentation DAISY book available in the app library.

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This page was last edited by VLuceno on Monday, March 24, 2014 21:52
Text is available under the terms of the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process.