I can't tell you how many users take advantage of the TTS features on their Android or Fire tablets. I usually don't, even though a lot of Android apps support TTS, and even though the Fire tablet supports Ivona as a core feature.
Now they've gotten an update. Last week Google quietly started rolling out an updated voice for its TTS service, and this week Amazon followed suit with a similar update for the Fire tablets.
Android Authority reported last Wednesday that Google had updated the US voice for its TTS engine which is "new, smoother and less disjointed". It's said to have "more natural intonation" and a more fluid delivery which is more life-like.
The update is rolling out slowly. I'm still stuck on the older voice, so I can't comment directly, but there is a report which confirms that the voice is available through Google Play Books and other apps. Also, there's a Youtube video with a before and after:
As you can hear in the video, the new voice is a significant improvement over the old one (which is mechanical-sounding). According to reports it's going to be available Android-wide, but I'm still waiting to see that for myself.
O O O
In related news, Amazon may have issued an update to the Ivona voices used on the Fire tablets.
I say "may have" because even though I was prompted to install an updated voice this morning, I can't confirm that the new voice is better than the one it replaced.
If you got the update and can hear a difference between the voices before and after, let me know in the comments.
image by C_osett