Google Text-to-Speech Updated – Now in Google Play

Google hasunnamed lately been releasing more and more core Android components as stand alone apps, and today Text-to-Speech joined the crowd. Hands off readers, rejoice. This rather robotic sounding voice has been part of Android since 4.0 ICS was officially released in October 2011, but until today the only way to get an update was to wait for the device maker to post an official firmware or to find and install a third party firmware (or wait for someone to post an illicit APK which they copied off of their Android device).

With this new release Google is saving us the effort of skulking around and/or waiting for an official update that might never come. This will come as great news for many people using their smartphone as a hands-free reader, a group that includes more than just the visually impaired but also anyone who needs to keep their hands free for other activities.

TBH this won't affect me much; I much prefer the Ivona voices. They're much more realistic than the stock voice supplied by Google. I also tend to use the Kindle Fire HD more, and it ships with them as stock.

Google Play

Android Central

About Nate Hoffelder (11477 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on Google Text-to-Speech Updated – Now in Google Play

  1. Nate you did not tell us which TTS w Ivona you purchased.

  2. Hi Nate,

    I just wanted to say I love your website. Adore your information and applaud your commitment. (I know, I’m a writer and it takes “True Grit” ;). But my Gmail is overloaded so I’m going to unsubscribe (I’m sorry), but one more link will be pointing your way because I am adding you to my feedly link. If I decide I don’t like reading you that way (I love our morning coffees together ;), you know I’ll be back!
    Thanks so much for all you do for us.
    Lee Tyler
    P.S. I also did a post on my G+ page going with your link and mentioned The Digital Reader. It went out to (truly didn’t count) a couple thousand at the least including a lot of Google people. It can’t hurt. ;p

  3. I agree with Nate as I also prefer natural sounding voices. The new 2013 Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX come with IVONA voices and improved accessibility – this will benefit visually impaired book lovers.

    Chet, IVONA voices are currently available at no charge on Google Play.

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