BARD Mobile by Library of Congress (Universal)
Released: Sep 19, 2013
Version: 1.2.2
Size: 8 MB
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Ranking - Books (iPhone)

Ranking - Books (iPad)

BARD Mobile

Library of Congress

Access more than 100,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily.


To download books using this app, you must first apply for service from your local braille and talking-book library. You can find which library in the NLS network serves you by visiting or calling 1-800-NLS-READ. Your library can discuss eligibility with you and walk you through the application process.

If you are already registered for service with your local braille and talking-book library but do not have a BARD account, simply contact your library and request a user name and password.


BARD Mobile is a service of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress. NLS provides free audio and braille reading materials to residents of the United States and American citizens living abroad who cannot read regular print books. If you are blind, low-vision, or have a physical disability that makes it difficult for you to hold or turn the pages of a book, you may be eligible for this program. For more information on eligibility, visit


Audio materials downloaded from BARD can be played directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. To read braille materials, you will need to connect a refreshable braille display to your device using Bluetooth.

What's new in version 1.2.2
This version (1.2.2) fixes a bug related to audio decoding.

Version 1.2 of BARD Mobile for iOS adds the following features:

- Addition of “My previous downloads” and “Most popular books” to the top-level Get Books menu
- Browse magazines by title
- Braille reflow (lines of braille break to match your display length)
- Beep-free mode
- VoiceOver actions added to bookshelf items
- Dynamic sleep timer (matches the jump-by level)
- Autolayout of screens (for compatibility with a wider variety of iOS devices)
- Adheres to system-wide type size setting (Dynamic Type)
- Total reading time or number of braille volumes added to summary listings
- Automatically reloads next 50 items as you scroll (no more tapping “Load more”)
- Error message refinements
- Double-tap gesture to reset speed/tone

...along with bug fixes, stability improvements, iOS compatibility, and performance enhancements.

The user guide has been updated to reflect all feature changes.
Screenshot #1 (iPhone)
Our verdict: Good
  • + BARD Mobile is a highly rated app (4-star).
  • + The app is free.
  • + BARD Mobile is currently ranked #255 in free Books apps for iPhone, as well as #213 in free Books apps for iPad.
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