There are a lot of iOS apps and Cydia tweaks that let you converse with your iDevice, but the reason for Siri’s popularity is its deep integration with stock apps and system features. This aspect of Apple’s talking virtual assistant has been further enhanced in the new iOS 6 update. Now, you can ask Siri to launch apps for you, without even having to look at the screen. However, a look at the new TitleSpeak Cydia tweak is sure to make you realize that the iOS voice assistant still has quite a bit of space for improvement. The functionality offered by TitleSpeak might not fall under essentials, but it is handy enough to make one wonder why such a feature wasn’t included as part of the OS in the first place. The tweak simply reads the title text of all incoming banner notifications out loud, but this small feature can prove to be quite a time-saver for when you’re driving or your phone is out of your sight, and particularly useful for the visually impaired.
Once downloaded, TitleSpeak takes effect immediately, without adding any extra SpringBoard icon or menu in the Settings app. The next time you receive a banner notification, its title will be read out loud automatically, regardless of whether the text is a name, a title or a phone number. Unfortunately, this also means that there is no way to disable the tweak for selective apps or disable it entirely without uninstalling it. TitleSpeak works for notifications originating from both stock and third-party apps. Moreover, the tweak will remain active in silent mode too, which might be a definite deal breaker for some.
However, as only the titles are read aloud, and not the content within the notification, most people might not consider this a breach of their privacy. TitleSpeak makes use of Siri’s (US) voice to read out titles, which gives it the feel of a native iOS feature. If you seldom keep your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in silent mode, the tweak is definitely worth a shot. If not, we would suggest against it, at least until it is updated with either a Settings menu that lets you disable it temporarily, the option to keep it silent while the device itself is in silent mode or both. It would also be nice if users were allowed to choose whether they just want the title of the notification banner to be read aloud or a bit of the content (whatever is visible within the banner), too. TitleSpeak is available in Cydia’s BigBoss repository, and is free to download.