Use Your Android Device To Listen To Emails And News On The Go

Mobile apps are starting to take mobility much more seriously these days, and the latest to exemplify this is Listen to Emails and News for Android. The app is a narrator for your favorite news websites and RSS feeds, and what's more, you can also add multiple email accounts to its list of channels, allowing you to have the app read your mails out loud while you're on the move. The app supports automatic grouping of channels by genres or categories such as health, sports, technology etc, like a personalized radio. The app supports intuitive gesture controls for navigation and even offers hands-free control via bluetooth, the proximity sensor and speech recognition. We take a closer look at the app and all that it has to offer, right after the jump! Read More

Listen To Your RSS, Reddit & Other Feeds In Style On Android With Auri

Over the past couple of years, we have seen several voice assistants pop up for all mobile platforms. Some focus mainly on executing your commands in a minimal way, while others let you have conversations with them. Auri is different in that it's all about reading out your daily RSS, Reddit, 4chan (experimental) or any other news feed read to you, allowing you to focus on the more occupying tasks at hand. Auri is designed to behave like a radio app, playing whatever is on the playlist of the channel selected. The appeal of the app lies in its versatility, given the types of feeds it is able to handle. The feeds are read with a subtle music in the background; it’s almost like tuning into your favorite news channel on the TV or radio, and going about your tasks in the house. The app works with the built-in Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine for Android, so you can choose the voice and expression to your liking as well. To learn more about the app and it’s beautiful UI, read on after the jump! Read More

Convert Any Blog’s Articles Into Podcasts With Podcastomatic

Listening to text instead of reading is a godsend on weary days. I know, I’ve had my share. When I’m juggling a hefty workload, Notepad++ is my go-to app because of its Speech plugin. To compress extended, hour-long reading sessions into half the time, I rely on the excellent Balabolka. And finally, when I get back home, it’s time to shut out the world and unwind, my feet up on the couch and Podcastomatic playing my favorite blogs softly back to me. Read More

Secretary For iPhone Narrates Alerts When Headphones Are Plugged In

We often hear people say that the iTunes App Store boasts close to 800,000 apps, but the implications of this statement are rarely mentioned. The presence of so many different apps means that we now have apps for all occasions, pretty much every kind of users, and a variety of purposes. As dangerous as it can be, a lot of people just can’t help but whip their phone out every time a new notification shows up while they are driving. Thankfully, there are apps that can help you multitask in a safer manner. DriveSafe.ly reads out updates from various sources, while a similar Cydia tweak exists for adding this functionality to the stock Messages app as well. Secretary is a new Cydia release that takes the features offered by VSNotifications to the next level. With this tweak, you get a spoken summary of any items that need your attention, and also get incoming text messages read out to you. Read More

Convert MS Word Documents To Audio Files With AudioDocs

With the pace at which technology in advancing, it wouldn't be more than a decade or two before we will have robots educating our children and telling them bedtime stories. Although we still have to wait for a while for that, we do have various text-to-speech software available today that can turn our literature into audiobooks, and a little Windows app called AudioDocs performs flawlessly well in this regard. This open-source program available at SourceForge is designed to convert documents in DOC/DOCX format into WAV audio files. It can prove to be quite useful if you want to convert stories, novels, essays, reports etc. into playable audio files. Details after the jump. Read More

NaturalReader Converts Documents & Web Page Text To Natural-Sounding Speech On iPhone

There have always been some pretty decent text-to-speech apps around for iOS, but the niche has never taken the market by storm. The main reason for this is the fact that no one appreciates listening to the contents of documents or websites in a mechanical and monotonous voice. However, there's a new app on the App Store by the name of NaturalReader Text to Speech that aims to tackle exactly this issue. It comes with a lot of different voices and accents that you can listen content from any document or web page in. You can transfer documents to the file using iTunes, open email attachments from it, use its Dropbox integration to load documents from your cloud storage, or use the built-in web browser that can read contents from out any webpage on the go. Read More

Get The Stock iPhone Keyboard To Read Aloud Everything You Type

The VoiceOver option found under the Accessibility menu in iOS might have the primary purpose of helping the visually impaired, but a lot of other people use it due to the convenience and freedom it brings to the table. One annoyance in using this feature with typing is that you have to type a whole sentence and then select it to make your iPhone read it out loud. A new Cydia tweak called Speaking Keyboard rectifies this by adding text-to-speech to the equation, speaking everything you type, so you don't have to look at the device’s screen constantly. The tweak goes a step further and can be configured to speak separate words (complete with spellings, if you want) or entire sentences. The best part is that you don’t even have to select anything for it to work; Speaking Keyboard speaks as you type. Read More

Text-To-Audio Transcription Service SoundGecko Releases Android App

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. Read More

SpeakMe Reads Notifications Aloud For Selected Android Apps

How often do you find yourself in a situation where you have to repeatedly reach for your Android device just to see if the last notification was about an important email you were expecting or just another promo SMS by your mobile carrier? Wouldn't it be helpful if your device could itself read the content of the notification out loud, especially on occasions when you’re driving or too busy to be checking your device for notifications? While iOS users have been able to benefit from the likes of VSNotifications and TitleSpeak in this regard, it’s more of a surprise that there aren’t too many similar solutions available for Android users. However, SpeakMe, an absolutely free Android app, looks to turn things around, and that too, in some style. The app utilizes your preferred Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine, and puts you in control over the selection of apps for which you want it to speak notifications aloud. You can select as many apps as you like, and for each app, you have the option to specify a custom delay between the arrival of notifications and their narration. Read More

VSNotifications Reads Aloud iPhone Banner Notifications With Message Text

Recently, we covered TitleSpeak, a Cydia tweak that lets users listen to the titles of incoming banner notifications, particularly handy for while you're driving or working. While we appreciated the tweak’s basic concept in our review, it was also pointed out that it could use a lot of improvements. The biggest problem was the tweak’s omnipresence, with no options to silence it without having to uninstall it altogether. The developer seems to have risen to the challenge, and has come up with VSNotifications. The new tweak deals with reading banner notifications out loud as well, but that is where the similarity with TitleSpeak ends. VSNotifications has a pretty comprehensive menu that has options to disable its text-to-speech announcements, set it to speak a notification’s content in addition to the title, ad add custom speech snippets to be spoken each time notification is read aloud, an app is launched or quit. You can even check how a custom text will sound by entering it in its testing field. Read More

Dictate Emails To Your Windows Phone With Say Mail!

Despite its increasing integration with many smartphones and apps, speech-to-text technology has failed to gain the trust of considerable users. A majority of people avoid relying too heavily on dictating items to their smartphones, fearing typos and low quality speech recognition. Siri or Microsoft's TellMe, while great for carrying out small system tasks, can get a bit annoying if you are trying to dictate longer passages to them (to be sent in an SMS). There are other apps that offer better solutions for dictation, but most of them are too complicated to be of much use in a hurry. Say Mail! is a Windows Phone app that focuses on letting you compose emails via dictation without much fuss. The app offers just two main features; you can speak your messages so that Say Mail! writes everything down for you, or you can request the app to read out everything you have just dictated, ensuring there is never a need to look at your phone’s screen. Another great thing about the app is its surprisingly accurate speech recognition. Say Mail! gets almost everything right in the first attempt, and even if it doesn’t, you can manually edit the text later. Read More

TitleSpeak Reads iPhone Notification Banner Titles Out Loud

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. Read More

SoundGecko Comes To Windows Phone; Converts RSS Feeds & Articles To MP3 Audio

Ever since podcasts made it into mainstream, they have become a part of the daily routine of many smartphone users. The idea of being able to stay apprised of the latest happenings in the areas of your interest, without having to sit still in front of a TV or reading a book, is certainly appealing to most people. Having said that, no matter how good a podcast is, not all of it can be to your liking, and there are bound to be some boring its and bits in there. Won’t it be just heavenly if there was some way of creating your own, personalized podcast? Thanks to SoundGecko, that is exactly what users can do. The service is not new, by any means, and has been around for iOS and web for quite a while. With SoundGecko, you just have to email any article’s link to the service, and all its text content is converted to audio (in MP3 form) and sent back to you. While this sort of functionality is useful on a computer, too, it becomes absolutely awesome if you can listen to all the MP3s on your smartphone (and hence, the iOS app). The big news regarding SoundGecko is that the service has released its official Windows Phone client, and is sure to earn the admiration of everyone who wants to listen to their RSS feed or other web content on the go. Read More

Listen & Speak: Virtual Foreign Language Teacher That Tests & Rates Your Pronunciation [Android]

Developed by 9spikes.com., Listen & Speak for Android is a free app that helps you improve your listening and speaking skills in various global languages by practising them through oral dictation. Listen & Speak sports an extensive online library, complete with various basic and advanced exercises in different foreign languages. The app uses your Android’s Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine to read aloud sentences or phrases from a selected exercise set. You can listen to a sentence as many times as you like, and then repeat it after the app to have your speaking skills analyzed. Based on the extent of your precision with the spoken sentence, the app ranks your speaking skills on a scale of 0-1, with intermediate scores represented in decimal figures. Apart from practicing with a specific exercise set, you can also set the app to translate all the sentences or phrases into a global language of choice. Read More

Voice Answer Is A Chat Bot & Speech Based Search Engine For iPhone/iPad

Siri might be good-looking and popular, but as is generally the case, beauty and brains are rarely found in one place. You can ask Siri to set reminders for you, and ask her what dress she is wearing, but when you come to think of it, Siri’s knowledge is quite limited, and more often than not, it ends up pointing you to web search. Now imagine if there were some way of making Siri the most geekiest and knowledgeable bot in existence, won’t it be awesome? There is no such tweak or app app available just yet, but Voice Answer might be the next best option available. This newly released iPhone app will answer every question its users ask, no matter how technical or complicated. The app’s bot, named Eve, will solve mathematical equations for you, let you know all about scientific facts and historical figures, and will prove to be a pleasant companion when you are just bored and not really looking for some useful information. Read More

Text2Speech: Enter Text To Hear It Read Out Loud While Offline [Cydia]

Siri might have become the most popular talking bot for iOS devices in the short while that it has been around, but it is not the only thing on an iPhone which can talk. Nor is it the pinnacle of automated speech, in the opinion of most neutrals. Text2Speech is a Cydia app which might be very different (and somewhat limited in purpose) when compared to Siri, but still it can prove to be a useful addition to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The app performs a fairly simple task. You just input any text in the box provided within the app, and it will be read out loud for you in any of the four available voices. The uniqueness of Text2Speech lies in the fact that you can alter the voices present in the app pretty thoroughly, and the conversion time is pretty decent as well, and the best thing? Text2Speech does not require internet connectivity in order to work! Read More

Voice Brief: Listen To Emails, Weather & News Updates Even When Offline [iPhone]

Sometimes you are too lazy to do stuff which is important, and even your smartphone needs a touch of your hand to perform various tasks. Also, you might need to perform some functions while you are driving or doing something else in real-life. This is when voice commands come in really handy, and similarly, it is always nice if your phone can read things aloud for you, so that your attention can remain free of the screen (that’s one reason for Siri’s popularity). So, if you have an iPhone, life becomes a lot easier when you have apps like Voice Brief. This extremely useful app reads out a bunch of things aloud, like emails, stock prices and weather updates, and the best part is that you can load all these items once, and then listen to the feeds even when you are offline, as the app doesn’t require an active data connection for converting text to speech. Read More

Speak To Hear A Sentence’s Translation With VoiceTranslator [WP7]

Most of us have used Google Translate at some point in time, or maybe you got the prompt pushed by the search giant automatically when you are on a webpage which is in any foreign language. Similar apps exist for Windows Phone 7 as well, like the recently covered Babylon Translator for Mango phones, but VoiceTranslator is so much more than a mere translation app. To get a word or phrase translated to any language, you just have to speak it to the app, and you will get the desired conversion. Not only that, VoiceTranslator will even speak the translated text out loud for you, so that your pronunciation of the foreign language is correct. To learn more about this awesome app, read on. Read More

QTranslate: Hot Key Supported Text Translator & Text-to-Speech Utility

When browsing through different websites, we often stumble upon text in a foreign language. Sometimes, the website is available in multiple languages and can be switched using a drop down menu or a button placed somewhere on the landing page, however, a lot of times, the website is only available in a single foreign language. What you can do is use a language translator for converting the complete website into a language you can understand. Almost everyone knows about Google Translator and its usefulness when viewing web pages in another language, but wouldn’t it be easier if you could translate selected text without visiting Google Translator in your browser? If you are looking for an application that allows you to translate text between different languages, check out QTranslate. It is a portable application for Windows that not only lets you translate text to and from different languages, but also servers as a text-to-speech tool that also reads supported languages once they are translated. It supports multiple translation services, including Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, Promt, SDL, Yahoo! Babel Fish and Yandex Translate. Read More

Knowtilus For iPhone: Talking Browser, Text Editor, RSS Reader & Translator

Knowtilus is an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, which is so multipurpose and versatile that it is impossible to place it under one category. The app integrates a lot of useful features, and makes using your iOS device a much more enjoyable and productive experience. The biggest part of Knowtilus is its web browser, which, apart from having a clean interface, also reads out whole pages to you, and lets you translate them to more than 20 languages. Other than the web browser, you get a text editor, which is not too complicated and lets you focus on the task at hand. There is even more to Knowtilus than that, and you can find out everything about its features by heading past the break. Read More