Nokia Screen Reader now available to all modern Symbian devices

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You may remember that we had a blind reader write up the existence of Nokia Screen Reader a while ago? It's a good read and explains what Nokia Screen Reader does, but availability was very limited at the time. Happily, Nokia has just released a revamped version of the application for all Symbian touchscreen devices (i.e. Nokia 5800 onwards). Screenshots, quotes and links below, of interest to anyone with a visual handicap.

From Nickus de Vos's original article:

 ....because I know and have been using Code Factory’s Mobile Speak for a while now, I fortunately already knew how to use it so I was on my way immediately. For those not familiar with Mobile Speak, I would recommend you read the NSR user Manual before installation.

Screenshot Screenshot

Down to the business end, everybody’s first questions would be: 1. Is it any good? 2. What can it do? and 3. What can’t it do?

Firstly, it’s very good - it doesn’t have to stand back for any other mobile screen reader on touch or non touch devices. Secondly, NSR allows a visually disabled or blind person to read and manage all phone menus, read and manage their contacts and calendars, send and receive messages and emails and it also allows you to browse the web. All this is done without any problems and with built in Nokia TTS guiding you every step of the way.

On the subject of the TTS voices, this is I believe an area where Nokia can still improve. The quality of the Nokia TTS voices is simply just sub standard - I only tried the English voice so far but I can’t see that it will be different with the other languages. The voices are simply too mechanical, which makes it hard to understand what it’s saying at times, especially at lower volumes and higher speeds, the way most people use screen readers on their phones. Nokia could, for example, invest in some third party TTS voices, a lot of companies make TTS voices which have much higher quality.

Here's Nokia Screen Reader, now available on far more devices (most S60 5th Edition and all Symbian^3/Anna/Belle), including this Nokia E6:




  • it's currently hard to find Nokia Screen Reader using the Store's built-in search function (maybe the entry is very new?) - so go via the Applications/New listings or use the link here.
  • it's almost unusable unless you've read through the manual first - this is not recommended for able-sighted people to play around with, as it gets in the way of normal touchscreen operation.
  • a device restart is needed after installation, though you're not prompted to do this.
  • the voices and lack of handling of the Nokia Store (and a few other modern apps) had not been addressed in this update

It's good to see this on a far wider array of devices though - comments welcome if you've used it or are just getting going with it - is Nokia Screen Reader good enough yet?

Source / Credit: Nokia Store