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Google Text-to-Speech

Google Text-to-Speech
File:Google Text-to-Speech.png
Developer(s) Google
Stable release 3.4.6 / April 7, 2015; 5 years ago (2015-04-07)
Development status Active
Operating system Android
Size 28.26 MB
Type Screen reader

Google Text-to-Speech is a screen reader application developed by Google Inc for its Android operating system. It powers applications to read aloud (speak) the text on the screen. Currently, the supported languages Dutch, English (India), English (United Kingdom), English (United States), French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (United States) . Text-to-Speech may be used by apps such as Google Play Books for reading books aloud, by Google Translate for reading aloud translations providing useful insight to the pronunciation of words, by Google Talkback and other spoken feedback accessibility based applications, as well as by third-party apps. Users have to install voice data for each language.

Version history

November 2013

  • Korean language now supported.[1]

March 2014

  • Version 3.0 added support for natural high-quality voices.High quality voices now featured in English (United States) as Female (high quality) whilst English (United Kingdom) also now featured three new high quality voices; Male, Female (high quality) and Male (high quality). These new high quality voices are much larger than the prior versions in terms of file size with 244MB for English US female (high quality) compared to just 6.8MB for the regular female voice version. These high quality voices were added to ensure higher quality pronunciation and enunciation with intonations that are more natural.
  • Support for Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish (United States) bringing the total number of languages supported to nine at this point. (German, English (UK), English (US), Spanish (ES), Spanish (US), French, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese (BR). Only English (US) and English (UK) have high-quality voice packs for now.) German, English UK, English US, Spanish ES, Spanish US, French, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese (BR). Only English US and English UK have high-quality voice packs for now.[2]
  • User Interface tweaks: Due to having multiple voices for some languages a toggle was added to voices with 2 or more voice packs.[3]

May 2014

  • Russian, Dutch, Polish and English (Indian) added to the currently supported list of languages.[4]

September 2014

  • Support for Japanese output added.[5]

December 2014

  • Support for Hindi and Indonesian output.
  • Improved output quality. Standard quality voices now surpass the quality of the high quality voices from previous releases.[6]

Evolution

Google is taking further steps to reach one of their newer venture's goal, in providing app integration software with the release of an Android Auto API. With this in mind app developers have started adapting and tweaking their apps and some including Google Text to Speech. Looking at the 2015 Hyundai Sonata the API supports two categories of apps but many third party app developers are getting involved with the apps. In relation to Google Text to Speech this evolution has helped advance uses of the app, with other apps such as textPlus and WhatsApp displaying text on a screen normally instead in the car the text was read aloud by Google's Text to Speech. Thus giving the driver more freedom and flexibility and they are given the option to reply via voice without even removing their hands from the steering wheel.[7]

The implications of Google text-to-speech are expanding. Google Chrome extension Chrome Speak can read aloud any selected piece of text within the browser. Chrome Speak uses the default text-to-speech feature of the operating system (Mac OS X, Windows and Chrome OS) and the user can listen to text read aloud from the computer. To run the Chrome Speak application Google Chrome browser is required.[8] Speak It is another extension of Google text-to-speech products, which is similar to Chrome Speak. Speak It reads out loud selected text within Google Chrome browser, but is considered a low-quality text-to-speech application.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Google Text-to-Speech engine arrives to Google Play". Android Authority. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Bogdan Petrovan (6 March 2014). "Google updates Text-to-Speech engine with new and high-quality voices". Android Authority. 
  3. ^ "Google's Text-To-Speech Engine Now Supports Japanese Output". Android Police. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Google Text-to-Speech updated with new languages, including Dutch, Polish, and Russian". Android and Me. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Google's Text-To-Speech Engine Now Supports Japanese Output". Android Police. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Google says Text-to-Speech no longer needs high quality voices in latest update". Android Central. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Google, Hyundai show off new third-party Android Auto apps". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "How to Enable Text to Speech in Chrome With Chrome Speak". Guidingtech.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Free Technology for Teachers: Speak It - Text to Speech in Google Chrome". Freetech4teachers.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015.