The official mobile app of SoundGecko – the highly regarded text-to-audio transcription service – has been around for iOS and Windows Phone for quite some time now, and it was about time that an Android variant was made available to the widespread user-base of Google’s mobile OS. The wait is finally over, as the official Android app of SoundGecko is now available in Google Play Store for free. For those uninitiated with it, SoundGecko utilizes its native online transcription tool to convert various text-based resources such as web pages, emails, RSS feeds and PDF documents to audio, thereby allowing you to listen to your favorite content the same way as you would listen to a podcast. The app has proved to be even more advantageous for mobile users, as they can enjoy listening to their desired audio content while on the move. SoundGecko also features quick access to articles fetched from a slew of crowd-favorite news service providers.
As with its iOS and WP7 clients, SoundGecko for Android doesn’t natively support adding articles to the playlist. Instead, it prompts you to visit the SoundGecko website (linked at the end of this post) in order to begin subscribing to your desired content. The procedure itself is quite simple – just visit SoundGecko, paste the URL of the required article, RSS feed or document in the provided text box, enter your email address, and hit the Listen button.
Your input URL will then be processed and the underlying text content will be converted to audio, with a confirmationforwarded to your email account. On the mobile app, you’ll have to navigate to the Playlist tab and use the drag down / pull-to-refresh gesture to manually update the underlying content. It is worth mentioning here that in order to access your custom-curated audio content, you must be logged in to the app using a SoundGecko account. Don’t have one? You can use the app’s login screen to register for a new account – it’s free!
However, you don’t have to go through the login procedure to listen to the app’s featured content; you can simply tap the required article to start playing it. Besides supporting background playback, the app offers a handful of playback controls that help you pause, resume, quick-rewind and forward audio. Using various options that are revealed upon hitting the app’s settings button, you can clear all items, partially completed items or entirely completely items, as well as mark them as complete.
Alongside each article, you can view its original source and total duration. Long-pressing on an item reveals a menu comprising options to view the article’s source of origin, mark it as complete, delete it from the list, or share it on your preferred social network or via email. The app also sports a built-in browser to help you view the text content of the source. To launch the browser, tap the arrow button on the right side of the article title. Next, hit the globe icon, and you’re good to go.
To cut it short, SoundGecko is one handy audio transcription and content discovery tool that almost every avid reader will want to have handy. That being said, there is still quite a bit of room for improvement for the app. For instance, we expect the future updates of the app to introduce most – if not all – of the following features:
- Offline access support,
- Option to download select content,
- Sync listening progress with the cloud,
- Lockscreen controls,
- Home screen widget,
- Most important of all, the option to subscribe to preferred content from within the mobile app itself.
For our readers’ convenience, download links to SoundGecko’s official Android, iOS and WP7 clients are provided below, along with the link to the web app itself.