1. The whole language approach - that is you read to them, and then they read to you.
2. Phonics - that is you learn what different vowel and consonant combinations sound like, along with any applicable rule breakers and then are able to sound out any word.
While method number two is generally considered the more challenging of the two to teach, it often yields better results later in life as students learn coping skills when they are presented with unfamiliar words.
That said, the common aspect of both strategies is human interaction. Computers, or any variation of, can NOT teach anyone to read!
But, I digress, there may very well be some applications that teach students the sounds of different consonant and vowel combinations, but unless the program records the student saying the sounds, evaluates it for correctness, and then corrects based on student input, it will NOT teach them to read. It WILL teach them to recognize the correct sounds, but not how to SAY them.
They easiest and simplest way to teach a child or anyone to read is to read to them, read with them, and have them read to you. Start with picture books and work your way up. At first they will tell the story from memorization after hearing it read to them. (You will know this because they will not follow the words, usually hardly looking at the book or only looking at the pictures.) Then move on to sounding out the words, through echo reading (I say it, you say it). Then have them read on their own. Just don't give a new or struggling reader a book they have never seen before, or had read to them before and expect them to read it, the chance of success will be very low.
Yes, I can't say I have anything different to say here...maybe a few suggestions from my experience with my 3yo who can read just about anything you throw at him.
He always bathed with foam letters and we would make words on the bathtub wall. He seems to love letters and the different sounds they made and a year or so ago he started putting the letters together and asking me what the word was...mainly gibberish, but I always sounded out the word and he also knew the sounds of each letter. We also got him a refrigerator letter toy when he was around 14months which allowed you to put in a letter and it would anounce the letter in a song and tell you what sound(s) that letter makes.
Another thing we did constantly was to read to him at bedtime and have ample books on the shelf. He gets to pick a book every night and loves that time of the day. That being said, he doesn't go up to the shelf and take out a book at any other time and just read.
He knew all of the alphabet by 18 months and is recognizing and reading most every word he sees...including the word 'recognize'...at 3.5 years. We actually videotaped him reading to us 4 months shy of his 3rd birthday since we didn't think anyone would believe he could read.
On the iPhone, he had an app that allowed him to trace letters. I don't recall any other apps we used for reading...he likes matching games and loves the US states for some reason and can identify just about all of them.
That is essentially what we did. I would love to know if we did something special to help with reading, but we sure didn't think we were doing anything out of the ordinary. Maybe the sounding-out of the letters was a big help?
Reading to her and interacting with her is the best thing to do. And don't dumb things down. If you would normally use a bigger word, use it in context and give a synonym or two she might recognize. This will help broaden her vocabulary.