Read&Write for Google Chrome - major updates - coming this July and beyond

Two years ago, Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc joined forces to provide the most comprehensive suite of tools for students and educators.  Since then we've been listening closely to our customers and what your needs are. The number one ask has been the availability of all the great tools in Read&Write, Co:Writer, and Snap&Read, all in one place. Now, the wait for that is over.

We’re so pleased to be able to bring the best parts of technology from across our Group of companies into one place. Starting on July 1st 2024, we’ll begin adding features from Snap&Read and Co:Writer into Read&Write for Google Chrome. 

What’s coming to Read&Write this July?

1. Co:Writer Prediction

What is Co:Writer prediction?

Co:Writer prediction will provide the strongest, and most accurate word prediction available on the market. Co:Writer’s Neuron™ prediction engine follows the natural relationships of ideas and concepts in the brain. The feature includes a simple-to-use word prediction engine specifically designed to free up ideas so they more naturally flow into writing—helping overcome writer’s block, word recall issues, and other barriers to writing.

Co:Writer prediction also makes it easier to insert words from the prediction list into your document. Just type the number next to it - no more keyboard shortcuts required.

2. Topics

This powerful tool groups lists of words together by content areas that can be activated or deactivated manually when writing on topics containing complex topic-specific words. This means no more getting tripped up by hard-to-spell vocabulary like Pterodactyl or Tyrannosaurus. Instead, users can focus on writing for meaning and to express their knowledge. 

Applying a Topic increases students’ efficiency by getting to content-specific words in just one or two keystrokes. There are over 500 Topic Dictionaries built into Co:Writer. 

3. Different ‘modes’ in Read&Write 

As we move towards a unified experience for all of our users, we want to ensure a smooth transition for everyone. That's why we're introducing three new toolbar modes. Each mode replicates the familiar interfaces of Read&Write, Co:Writer and Snap&Read, allowing users to choose the layout that best suits their learning need - Horizontal, Vertical or Writing mode:

Horizontal Mode: The familiarity of the current Read&Write toolbar - with a few small changes. Toolbar sits at the top of the screen and is fully customizable.

Vertical Mode: Mimics the vertical layout of the Snap&Read toolbar. Vertical mode will mean that the toolbar is docked on the right hand side of the screen. It’s customizable too, so users can add icons from Read&Write toolbar as desired.

Writing Mode: Replicates the familiar Co:Writer experience. Ideal for users who primarily need writing support and may get overwhelmed with a toolbar with many different features.

4. New look for Talk&Type

Lastly, we've also incorporated a sleek new icon for Talk&Type, our powerful speech to text feature. This is a small adjustment, but a perfect example of how we’re bringing the best of our tools together. Talk&Type will work exactly the same as it always has.

What’s next?

On July 1, 2024 the updates outlined above will go live. Co:Writer prediction will replace Read&Write prediction. Topics will be available and the three new toolbar modes will be introduced.

If you have any other questions or feedback about these changes, please let us know. We want your input to help shape the future and priorities of our products.

Over the next year and a half, our product development team will be building the Co:Writer and Snap&Read feature set into Read&Write for Google Chrome, creating one customizable tool, with more capabilities than ever before. We'll also be enhancing the Read&Write for iOS keyboard and app to include Co:Writer and Snap&Read features. 

These changes will help us to meet the needs of more learners around the world, but we understand that there are likely questions and concerns for current Co:Writer and Snap&Read users. We want to assure you that your tools are NOT disappearing anytime soon. You will have the option to renew both Co:Writer and Snap&Read for the 2024/2025 school year, as we work to transition features to Read&Write. In the meantime, your account representative will be in touch to create a custom transition plan and a customer FAQ is available.

Are you ready to see these new updates in action?

On May 13th, our team will be hosting a webinar to give you an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming enhancements to Read&Write for Google Chrome. The team will dive into what feature changes you can expect to see and when.

They’ll also explore how these cutting-edge developments to Read&Write for Google Chrome will help you to provide even better support for:

  • Struggling writers
  • English Language Learners
  • Students with more severe learning differences 
  • Personalization and customization
  • Student independence and agency
  • Your data needs

We’re committed to supporting you with training, resources, and plenty of time to understand and adapt to these updates. And this is just the beginning. During the webinar, we'll also take a look at the current and upcoming training materials that will equip you to leverage Read&Write to its fullest potential next school year.