You no longer have to reach for your Android phone to try Google's learn-to-read tool. Google has launched a beta web version of Read Along that offers a similar experience on your computer. As before, the virtual helper Diya encourages your kids to read aloud and offers correctional feedback. Children can read at different skill levels and receive digital prizes for completing goals.
The beta currently supports reading on Chrome, Edge and Firefox, with functionality for Safari and other browsers due "soon." Kids can learn in several languages, including English and Hindi. You can sign in for a personalized experience, but Google makes clear that you don't need an account. All speech recognition also happens in your browser, so you don't have to worry that someone might grab your child's voice recordings.
Read Along's web version won't change your mind if you prefer the personal touch. However, Google isn't pitching this as a full substitute for human contact. It helps kids improve their reading in moments where their parents aren't available, and could help schools teach literacy when one-on-one time isn't practical.