I love testing out different reading apps, and was excited to come across an Epic app review when browsing new apps on social media. I decided to give it a try to see what it would be like to use the Epic app for visual impairment, and while it isn’t a perfect app, I definitely found myself wishing I had this when I was a child with low vision. Here is my Epic app review for visual impairment and a summary of the app’s features.
What is Epic?
Epic (stylized as Epic!) is a subscription-based online children’s book service that provides users with over thirty thousand different books, comics, videos, and more for children that are 12 and under.
How much does Epic cost?
- Epic is free for elementary school teachers and elementary school librarians when they sign up for a free educator account using their school email.
- Other users can access Epic for $7.99 a month after a 30 day free trial. Subscriptions can be purchased online or within the Epic app on Android or iOS.
- Users can also choose to send gift subscriptions to others through the Gift section of the Epic website.
The Epic app is available for iOS and Android and can be downloaded for free below. However, when the user first opens the app, they will be prompted to choose a subscription option and complete an in-app purchase.
Types of content available on Epic
Examples of content available on Epic include:
- Popular children’s picture books
- Epic original books
- Chapter books
- Non-fiction books
- Graphic novels
- Educational videos
- Craft and DIY videos
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Setting up the Epic app
When a user opens the app for the first time, they are prompted to create a parent account with their name and email, and to sign up for a free trial of the service. Once that information is added, users can create different child profiles with the child’s name and age, as well as their interests, so that the service can begin recommending age-appropriate books that may be of interest to the child. Parents can monitor what books each child is reading and browse the Epic app to find titles to assign to child profiles.
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The Epic app is broken into five different screens:
On the Explore screen, users can browse different types of content, which is displayed in horizontal lines with large, colorful pictures under different headings such as “Top Picks” or “Ocean Animals.” The first tab shows recommended titles for the user, and the other screens show comics, “Read To Me” books that can be read by a professional narrator, videos, and audiobooks. Users can open content by tapping the large colorful icon with the book they want to read.
In this screen, users can search for titles, authors, keywords, and similar content, as well as browse different genres and interests. There is also an option to look at content that is written in Spanish, Chinese, and French, though these sections are not divided by genre.
In the Profile screen, users can switch profiles or view their own profiles to see what they have been reading as well as badges they have earned.
This is where users can access downloaded books to read offline. This can be done by opening any book and clicking the “download book” button.
Users can access shared collections from their parent or teacher that show different titles to read.
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Epic and large print
Epic does not support Dynamic Text or large print settings, as the books are displayed as high-resolution images. However, users can zoom in on text and images with the pinch-to-zoom gesture, which helps to magnify the print.
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Epic and VoiceOver
Users can navigate around the app with VoiceOver and search for books, audiobooks, and other information. Select books have a “Read To Me” option that will read books out loud, and I was able to navigate to the audiobook menu and play audiobooks with VoiceOver without any issues. However, books cannot be read with VoiceOver.
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Epic and Zoom
Since the book images are scanned in at a high resolution, I was able to use Zoom to further magnify books beyond the default zoom options within the Epic app. This was especially helpful for reading books with smaller print sizes and for inverting text colors for improved readability.
Some potential uses for the Epic app include:
- Following along with books being read in class
- Finding books that may not be available at the local library or in large print
- In conjunction with local library programs for reading
- Listening to different books for an assignment or report
- As a way to learn how to use a new smart device for learning
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While I’m sad that Epic does not support VoiceOver, overall I was impressed with the quality of the Epic app and the amount of different books available. I also was excited to see books that featured blind characters and that talked about assistive technologies such as bionic eyes and guide dogs. Epic is a great app for users looking for audiobooks or narrated books, or that are practicing learning to use Zoom, and is a great addition to my reading apps collection.