Renee Conoulty: Text to speech apps for Android


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Text to speech apps for Android

Hey Everyone!

I love audiobooks, but not everything is available in audio, so I often use the Text to Speech function to listen to ebooks. Text-to-speech is also a fantastic way for authors in the editing process. Today, I'm going to tell you about the apps I use on my Android phone.

Ages ago I blogged about using a text to speech app to read ebooks. I no longer use the set up I mentioned back then as the IVONA engine isn't compatible with my new phone and they don't offer the Australian voice anymore. If your phone is compatible with IVONA and you like a UK accent, then give it a go before the free Beta testing is over. IVONA had the least robotic sounding voice I've come across.

The next best Australian voice I've found so far is included in the Google TTS engine. They used to have a few Australian accents to choose from, but they have cut it back to one. Google have a huge variety of other accents and languages available and they're all free.

Once you have a TTS engine you're happy with, you need another app to manage your ebooks. These are my two favourites. Check out their features to see which one suits you best.

eReader Prestigio has a beautiful interface. It is perfect for people who like to switch between reading and listening. 

You can load all your ebooks into the app and access more via the inbuilt store (paid and free). You can separate your bookshelves into recent and all, then scan the covers to see what you feel like reading next. 

There's an elegant page turn animation and simple audio buttons, allowing for adjustments in rate and pitch. The main issue I have with this app is that the US accent is the default one, so everytime I opened the app, I had to select the Australian voice again. 

@Voice Aloud Reader is another fantastic option. It isn't set up as well for reading, with a scrolling screen, but if you plan to listen to the whole book, it's perfect. 

The voice settings are saved, so you don't need to set it up each time. The audio options are more flexible. As well as rate and pitch, there is an option to edit speech. Very handy for non-phonetical words such as lasagne. 

None of the text to speech options are clever enough to distinguish between wind (breeze) and wind (turning), so there are a few words that you just have to figure out by context as you listen.

@Voice Aloud Reader also has the option to record. I have an example in the Youtube video below (via a few other conversions to get something I could imbed here).

As well as ebooks, @Voice can read many other types of files. You can sync it with Pocket to read things later via audio, or share directly from a webpage to the @Voice app to listen now or add to the queue.

The customer support for @Voice Aloud Reader is fantastic too.

Here's an example of the Australian Google TTS in action reading out a flash fiction I wrote called My Best Cooker Hat.


  1. Hi Renee, I also love audiobooks, and listen to them in the car all the time, especially to and from work. I've never thought of the TTS idea, it's great, will have to investigate this further. Although it's nice to have two books on the go at once, one on audio and one in print, so long as they are totally different, I got very confused once when I was listening and reading two crime books, so I always do different genres.

    1. I try to read different genre too, for exactly the same reason.