05
Mar
image

I love Update Wednesdays, and today we've already seen pretty decent updates to several Google apps. As you've already seen, Google Play Games was updated to v1.5, but the one I'm excited about the most is, without a doubt, Google TTS v3.0, which made a jump today from v2.4.

What’s New

So, what's so cool about TTS 3.0?

High-quality voices

First and foremost, Text-to-Speech 3.0 adds support for high quality voices. Just how drastic the difference is in day-to-day usage in various apps remains to be seen, but as far as file sizes go, we're talking about a jump from 5-6MB to 200+MB. The female English UK voice is a whopping 276MB.

wm_Screenshot_2014-03-05-13-48-11 wm_Screenshot_2014-03-05-13-50-17

I shot a quick video to demonstrate the difference between English (US) and the new high-quality English (US) as well as the high-quality English UK. The new voices aren't as robotic and don't seem as high-pitched, but don't expect to be totally blown away here:

Update: I have tested the new high-quality languages in Google Search, and the results are mixed. Responses vary based on the questions asked - for example, "what is 3+2" seems to be streaming speech from the server, and while it does honor the language you choose in Search's settings, it doesn't use local TTS at all. I had male English UK selected, but the result came back in female English UK.

However, something like "what is my next appointment" does use the new voices, with one pretty big caveat - as it turns out, loading such large voice packs could take up to 10 seconds even on a Nexus 5, which means the voice output could be severely delayed the first time you run Search after a reboot. Google has a lot of room for optimizations here, that's for sure.

Oh, and for whatever reason, Google Maps ignores the TTS settings altogether, it seems.

English (UK) male voice

Did you notice in the screenshot above that English UK is no longer limited to the default female voice? You can now select regular or high-quality variants of both female and male voices.

New languages: Portuguese and Spanish (United States)

The list of supported languages is going up - v3.0 adds support for Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (US).

wm_Screenshot_2014-03-05-13-46-29 wm_Screenshot_2014-03-05-13-46-20

UI tweaks

Thanks to the addition of multiple voices per language, a toggle has been added to each voice with 2 or more downloaded voice packs. This way you can switch between them on the fly.

The previous UI was much less flexible and only allowed downloading and deleting of 5 languages, as demonstrated below. As you can see, the Delete button has been replaced with a more elegant trash can.

As you probably already noticed, voice pack sizes are now visible, whereas the previous UI simply offered a Download button without any extra info.

wm_Screenshot_2014-03-05-13-49-40 wm_Screenshot_2014-03-05-13-52-44

Left: Google TTS 2.4. Right: Google TTS 3.0

If you notice anything else I may have missed, don't hesitate to let me know. I also welcome any feedback regarding the quality of new high-quality voices in real-world applications. Do you hear a big difference? Are you psyched about the sexy male English UK voice? Let it all out.

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File name: com.google.android.tts-3.0.10.1047791.apk.

Version: 3.0.10.1047791 (Android 4.0+).

MD5: d66ccbd9674affc62cebce5ffb201717.

  1. AndroidFileHost mirror
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  3. MEGA mirror

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • djakdekiel

    No Polish. Boring :P

    • maysider

      SVOX is saving Android, this is a very poor product from Google

  • sal

    Sadly no Arabic yet

    • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

      It is only time, as it (Arabic) is one of the 6 UN Official Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

      Arabic amongst the largest 4 languages English, Chinese and Hindi (India).

      Hindi, Portuguese and Esperanto are among several expansion candidates!

      • ithehappy

        My first language is Bengali, second Hindi, third English, yet I never understood the point of anything other than English when it's about my phone or PC, am I weird?

        • ksavai

          because you knew english and started computer with english there is no need. its for those who dont know english and just starting with computer/moible....

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        So, among the largest 4 languages, Google only manages to release 1 -- English.

      • didibus

        Interesting, I'd vote for Portuguese to be added next personally, as I prefer languages that have reach, as opposed to languages that have density. Hindi is spoken by a great number of people, but all localised in a very small geographical region and, the majority of those people also speak English. Portuguese from what I had researched in the past has more reach, meaning, it would let you be able to speak to someone in more countries. Does Esperanto actually get any usage?

        Though the 6 UN languages already pretty much reach out to the entire planet. I'm pretty sure if you spoke all 6, you'd be able to find someone to communicate with in all parts of the globe.

  • Alexei Watson

    This is great, the voice was functional but really harsh.

  • http://twitter.com/quaffster Ming Tang

    Does Google Maps respect your TTS choices now too? Previously I had it set to English UK but Google Maps navigation would use English US constantly.

    • Alexei Watson

      Yeah maps can be a bit crazy, I've had it jump between male and female on the one route before, when using a custom locale, with an english TTS engine.

      • Tuấn Ankh

        Maps don't adapt well with new just-installed voice, I guess. Over a year ago my Galaxy S Blaze 4G got the same voice as the one on Google Now voice search, but for navigation it jumps back and forth between that voice and the robotic old woman voice. xD

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nope, set my TTS to English UK male, but Maps is still using female US.

      • http://twitter.com/quaffster Ming Tang

        Ah, damn that sucks. I was hoping for some British accent goodness!

      • Dan Garcia

        dumb question, but does it at least use the HD one instead?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I don't think so, plus it totally disregards my language setting too. I have it on UK male, but the voice is still the same female US as I'm used to.

  • Phillip Jones

    With the male UK voice, I get one step closer to JARVIS-izing my phone.

    • Tuấn Ankh

      Man, I've heard people getting to have "Ok Jarvis" work on the Nexus 5 too. xD
      (I don't have a Nexus 5, and "Ok Jarvis" doesn't work on the GNL which I installed with apk.)

      • Eself1643

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      • jazz7

        it works , it takes some effort to pronounce it correctly

      • Cathy Rudy

        my&nbspfriend's&nbspsister-in-law&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­82&nbspevery&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­r&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­е­­­­­­τ.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbsplaid&nbspoff&nbspfor&nbspsix&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspincome&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­19479&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­е­­­­­­τ&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs.&nbspvisit&nbspthe&nbspwebѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е,..&nbsphttp://Foxprofitfalls2014preferenca7tm...

        ☗☗☗ ☗☗☗ ☗⪉☗☗ ☗☗�☗ ☗☗☗Hindi, Portuguese and Esperanto are among several expansion candidates!

    • Griffin Wiebel

      God, I can't wait.

    • Soham Dongargaonkar

      Thanks, now I'll download it too!

    • Travis W

      For even another step towards Jarvisification check out the Type Your Ringtone app. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twoclaw.typeyourringtonepro

  • itsgonnalast

    After the previous TTS update, has anyone had difficulty with Google Maps reverting back to "go left, go right" commands instead of street names? This happens to me randomly; some mornings I won't have street names, but they're back in the evening or vice versa. Very weird.

    • archercc

      I get that all of the time. Annoying.

      • itsgonnalast

        Glad it's not only me! Otherwise it was a really useful update. The voices are much louder and less-robotic than before. I'm looking forward to this latest update.

        • Ramiro Fernandez

          I had the issue before. Clearing cache and data of Google Maps and Google TTS resolved the issue for me.

          • cmbeid

            I too read somewhere that clearing Google Maps data resolves this issue. I have seen it once or twice, but never tried to clearing data.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I just cleared data for Maps, but the voice is still the same. And it doesn't match my selected TTS language/gender.

          • Ramiro Fernandez

            This was to resolve the issue where TTS didn't really work at all, and the only instructions were only "turn left" "turn right".

            You need to clear google TTS data as well for this to work

          • archercc

            Thanks, will give it a shot.

        • archercc

          The moment I realized they tied the voice to the media volume I almost had what Jeremy Clarkson would call a "Victorian crisis." I use it constantly over bluetooth in the car and it was really frustrating when it would randomly decide that my music should be 300% louder than the navigation voice volume.

    • blahmoomoo

      At least they finally increased the volume of the voice so you can actually hear it well when any music you're playing ducks. That seriously took forever to fix...

  • MattEden

    Anyone compare the new voices to Ivona's high quality options?

    • Jim_in_Denver

      I'd say Ivona is still superior.

      • Averix

        Does Ivona even work anymore on KitKat? Haven't tried it in a while.

        • jazz7

          it works perfectly

          • aSquard

            Will Ivona read books from the play store as well?

          • pranav

            yes

      • Meh

        Poland FTW!

  • Leif Sikorski

    No HD voice for german. A big +1 for Samsung who offer german HD voices since a long time and their HD TTS sounds also much better.

    • Mike Gonzalez

      same here for spanish, Samsung's TTS voice in HD sounds great, almost like real life

  • Régis Knechtel

    FINALLY brazilian portuguese support *__*

    • Guest

      Does this mean Google Now will start to answer to our questions in Portuguese out loud?

      • Régis Knechtel

        We can only wait and hope for Google to include it in next version of Google Now :(

    • Attila Magyari

      Moto X should use the same text to speech, there is no "Moto x google now", it's the same thing. Install the update, and try again after.

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    With Download precedence made such as ~276MB for 'English (UK): Female (High Quality)' we can expect more of the same of upto and around this size.

    English US from your screenshots seems to be missing Male Voices Options. English UK seems to be a beta for this enhancement of having both Female and Male options available!

    With items on the Google Play Store (i.e. Games) available in the 1.0GB+ range and plenty of other 'you can never have enough internal memory' and with basics like TTS downloads getting to the 200MB+ range Google, better be reconsidering reversing its anti MicroSD agenda! Samsung and Flagship Devices make Internal 32GB the new lowest Flagship Internal Storage size!

    'Budget devices' that previously were the 4GB or 8GB Internally range should start at 16GB!

    • Halin

      I saw it as optional.

    • Christofftofferson

      You worked in an argument about SD cards because of an optional 200MB download... Really?!

      Urgh

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

    I have set my voice to male... But yet google now is still a woman...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      See my update in the post body. It's going to vary, which is really dumb.

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

        When they first added UK support to now the voice was male and all was well, we had Jarvis...

        Why you do this google!?

  • cellabonez

    i know this is off topic and another update which is not seen , jamaica now has location reporting available, i believe ts all other countries which were included in ability to get movie on play store then also , music purchases started to work for me with google search but play store doesnt show the results, hope you guys will find more information about the latest google play service update.

  • Jonathan Douglas Ray Hall-Neal

    Why doesn't the Male UK English voice work with Google Now?

    • Cory

      I want to know that as well. It seems to only work on select questions for some reason. Hopefully Google fixes this.

  • primalxconvoy

    I could never get any of Google's services (translate, maps, etc) to work with any TTS, including their own. It always defaulted to the annoying female Yank voice (or would not work unless it was set). Like most Google offerings, I quickly moved to a third party solution and installed Ivona voice (plus the British female voice).

    Google should just concentrate on allowing more third party tts access to their apps.

    • Nathan Talbert

      I agree. I switched to ivona but then switched to caitlin irish tts some time ago. I personally think the 3rd party voices are way better. Still waiting for celebrity voices for tts to become a big thing.

    • Guest123

      totally agree. . . use google voice actions to send a text message, says it sent, person never gets it. Use other voice action app and works fine. . . etc. . . and I don't get the constant google apps running in the background checking my location, eating my battery, etc. . .

    • reecedunn

      I think that is due to the Google services requesting a US English voice (en-US) and that matching the US voice from Google TTS as it is a better match than the British English (en-GB) voice. Voice selection on Android is done entirely through locales (language, country, variant) which makes supporting accents or different voices a pain.

  • hairyback

    Anyone know how to convert to mp3 to, say, listen to an ebook on an mp3 player?

  • Jack

    No Australian :c

  • Chris

    Anyone know how to get an installed voice to work with Play Books?

    • Phillip Drawbridge

      It seems that if you have it set to high quality voice in the book settings then it streams the voice off the server. If it's not set to high then it uses the TTS.

  • J

    What app are you running for the internet speed info? I have been looking for a good one, but the best I have found is ax posed module that does speed overlay. Thanks.

  • KRS_Won

    Problem parsing package RAZR HD MAXX :-/

  • Jim_in_Denver

    Ivona voice still sounds much better than this.

  • Chris

    Honestly doesn't sound all that much better to me.

  • Alexei Watson

    the extra 168MB from UK female to UK male is due to the unpredictable mood engine.

  • Mc Dolan

    Anywhere i can download the voice data from web not from phone?

  • ithehappy

    Lovely lovely voice. I usually tend to go with female voices, but this time the male voice bought me, the UK one obviously.
    However I would like them to improve on the speech detection, rather than text-to-speech thing, it will be better for people who have little accent, including me.

    • Ramiro Fernandez

      Gotta admit, I usually use the female voice as well, but I was disappointed when the default English UK voice changed to female.

      There was something about that male voice whenever he said "exit the roundabout" that just made me giggle every time...

  • fjleon

    only HD voices for english :(

  • steelew

    The new US HD voice takes forever to play and it is quieter than the old one. I switched back to the older smaller one.

  • Ciders

    I hate this, yet I'm happy about it.

    Brought 4 Cereproc TTS because of how shrilly Google's TTS sound...but now as it's improved by a lot I feel kinda cheated lol. I'm going to try using more of Google's Male TTS for my ebooks now...the female one is still a bit high pitched for me. Give me some soft mature lady!! IVONA is nice BUT it runs in the background even when I haven't enabled...dodgy.

  • sud007

    awesome!!

  • yochanan

    Is it just me or is the English (US) Female voice much louder than the new Female (high quality) voice? I did the same test as in the above video & swapped back & forth. Same with headphones & phone speaker. A few other sites posted about this update & I swear someone else pointed it out, just don't remember where. N4 with ViPER4Android installed but's only enabled for headphones, not phone speaker.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Yep. New voice is a bit quieter, but it does south smoother.

    • Billy Porter

      I saw someone post that they were getting low volume on engadet i thought. I am also hearing low volume like 50% as loud. I'll have to test it, but it better be as loud or louder than music on bluetooth in the car.

  • james kendall

    about time they brought back eng uk male. I hated that they killed him off and refused to update from my rom's version

  • Maxime MARAIS

    Unfortunately, only English voices are available in HQ. For example, French ones are still low quality. And hardly understandable in a noisy environment, like in a car, even when connected with Bluetooth to the car radio.

  • Andrew Wilson

    "Oh, and for whatever reason, Google Maps ignores the TTS settings altogether, it seems."

    Gah! This drives me up the wall!

    My preferred TTS is the Ivona Voice Gwyneth-UK (it's very soothing) thanks to Tasker, "she" reads my messages and and notifications, tells me who's calling, and lets me know when my battery is getting low. I even sometimes have it read to me from Google Play Books. Then, I try to use Navigation and it's fingernails on a chalkboard in comparison. I used to be able to fix the issue by changing my default language to UK English, deselecting then re-selecting Ivona, and restarting navigation, but my new HTC One doesn't allow different English localizations for some reason. I can't wait to see if I can get the new GTTS voices working in maps, they sound much better than the default.

  • Android Developer

    276MB for HQ sound?
    wonder how could it be that much larger.
    has anyone tested it? is it really that much better?

  • Alex Hutchins

    The if you have a data connection, you are hearing the HQ voice. The new downloads of HQ means you will still get HQ when you don't have a data connection. Also means it will use less data.

    Also, I can set it to use the UK male voice, but Google now and Google maps only use the female voice in the locale your phone is set to... Disappointing still...

  • Robbie Khan

    Great alternative to IVONA, not quite as polished as IVONA but I need to do more testing to see which is most understandable on the road :)

  • David Vilhena

    I find it ridiculous that they update it with the portuguese from Brasil but not the portuguese from Portugal. I know that the Brasil population is way bigger but making the the other language shouldn't be any hard to do because of the language similarity

    • André Diniz

      Sou brasileiro e concordo contigo, David. Mas imagino que os falantes de espanhol passem pelo mesmo problema. Se servir de consolo, muitos dos softwares que compramos, quando oferecem a opção do idioma português, estão no de Portugal... Deveria haver estímulos aos fabricantes e desenvolvedores para que ficassem mais atentos ao idioma de seu público e à possibilidade de ampliar o alcance de seus produtos com a tradução adequada dos mesmos. Um abraço!

  • Kostas

    Ahhh... Finally a great update!

  • Jason Brown

    i can't get the voice data to install. it completes the download (reaches 100%) and then continues to say "downloading..."

    any suggestions on how to fix it?

  • Brian Staruk

    Updated the app, installed the HQ (US English) voice data, rebooted, and am hearing no difference.

  • Croatian

    Does anyone else have this double "Google" selection option under Language & Input --> SPEECH section --> Voice Recognizer or is it just me? Nexus 4, latest everything.

  • Blair Piotrowski

    I have discovered what I believe to be an issue. The volume of the new "high quality" female voice is much lower than that of the standard voice. This become an issue when simultaneously listening to music and running an exercise tracker or navigation program that provides voice feedback. You cannot hear the high quality female voice over the music.

  • Lacy Gibson

    I'm still waiting to have navigation instruction by The Most Interesting Man In The World. Nix on that male British voice. If the guys can have sexy women's voices, why can't the ladies have a mature MANLY voice?

  • Lacy Gibson

    I would like a sexy, mature American MALE voice. Why do guys get more options and the only alternative I find is either a Brit guy or another woman? Geez! How about The Most Interesting Man in the World voice add-on...?

  • Othelie Moor

    My phone have all of a sudden decided that the default voice should be English (Indian). I can't get it to stop and, after getting no help from google, I'm seriously considering deleting the app and never use anything google ever again.

  • Ahmed Zekry

    why Arabic is not supported!!

  • tony

    how do I use it on my android it doesn't come up as an app

  • mesa wind

    How does one get to be the voice over? I wish to be the US one. I have a fantastic speaking voice, easy to listen to with no discernible accent and great diction.