iPA Phonetics and in-app purchases

Recently, I added an in-app purchase to a free iphone/ipad APP I made a few years ago with my colleague Dr. John Esling, emeritus of UVic and past-president of the International Phonetics Association (https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/). The main app consists of several interactive screens, which pair the official international phonetic symbols (the IPA) with the appropriate audio and video representations. This APP was first published in 2014, and has had in excess of 100K downloads since then. It seems to be a favourite among not only Linguists who are interested in speech research (and the IPA), but also voice therapists, theatre coaches, and even small children.

The add-on consists of an enhanced version of one the base pages that illustrates –through video and sound, the locations and categories of various “voice qualities” that are often referred to in speech analysis. For example, Tongue-tip articulations, breathing, whispering, and “harsh creaky” voices. This seemingly small project dragged on (as most academic research is inclined to do) for the better part of a year. When it was finally finished I submitted the new APP to Apple’s iOS store and eagerly awaited the green light that it was published to the APP Store. Not so fast! You have to jump through several hoops, it turns out, to be able to publish your new app with an in-app purchase. After several rejections (eg., you need a “restore purchases” button, etc.), Apple finally published the new app alongside the in-app purchase and I am excited to see how the add-on fares in the marketplace.

For obvious reasons, I can’t contribute an un-biased review of the iPA Phonetics app. However, this APP is available for free download from the Apple App Store here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/ipa-phonetics/id869642260#?platform=iphone, and I encourage you to check it out if you have an interest in speech production — or even if you are simply curious to see up-close videos of a real-life larynx and its related apparatus (vocal chords, etc.).

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