Newly updated Bloom and Bloom Enterprise have released with a number of groundbreaking enhancements!
The Bloom book creation software is always evolving, and we’re excited to tell you about a number of new enhancements.
SIL LEAD’s proposal for developing tools for creating accessible books (books for the visually impaired) was one of two winners of the ACR Access for All Challenge, which enabled the addition of the following tools to the Bloom software:
an Image Description Tool, for writing prose descriptions of images for those who are not able to see the images (or see them well),
the ability to record those descriptions, and
an Impairment Visualizer to see what an image might look like to people who are not blind but have significant visual impairment.
Until recently, those tools were restricted to local communities and users with a Bloom Enterprise subscription. We are thrilled to announce that they’re now available without restriction to all Bloom users!
Bloom Version 4.6 is now out in Beta and includes some exciting new features:
Bloom already allowed you to insert "quiz pages" with simple multiple choice comprehension questions. Now you can format the text on that page and, more significantly, record the audio of the text on such pages. That is important for accessible books in particular.
When quiz pages are read in Bloom Reader, the page is interactive and tells the reader whether they have selected the right answer or not.
Bloom Enterprise subscribers can see request a dashboard showing how many people are reading your books and how well they are doing in answering the quiz questions correctly (there is a minor associated cost for this option as it requires additional maintenance from our team).
Bloom Version 4.6 comes with a number of additional refinements:
When opening a different Bloom collection, Bloom now offers you an additional six of the last collections you've opened.
Bloom performs better with very long books (hundreds of pages).
Audio playback is smoother.
You get a preview of your book when you use the Android publishing option.
You can choose Public Domain (CC0) as your license.
When you upload sign language books to Bloom Library, you can now indicate what sign language the book contains, in addition to the spoken/written languages in the book.
There are also improvements coming to the online library. Select books are now available to read online (complete with audio and video for books that contain those media) and download not only as PDF but also in ePUB and Bloom Reader formats.
Kudos to the Bloom development team for continuing to bring us new features and capabilities.