Tasker, the Android automation behemoth, is a tool limited only by your imagination — it has been used for everything from improving personal workflows to interfacing with enterprise systems. In the newest beta release, 5.7.0-beta, developer Joaomgcd demoed an interesting new feature, "Say Wavenet", which brings natural sounding Text-to-Speech to Tasker using Google's WaveNet algorithm (the same technology that powers Assistant responses). Read More
Google Assistant is good at performing actions and answering questions for which there's a straightforward answer. If you give it a more open-ended query, Assistant needs to scan the internet for something relevant. Now, it'll be a little better at that thanks to a new structured data specification called "speakable." Read More
Back in December last year, we looked in-depth at the work Google has been doing to improve text-to-speech and other artificial language use cases. Artificial voice synthesis can be much more powerful and impressive thanks to WaveNet neural network technology, developed by Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind. It's been used to make the Google Assistant sound more natural, and now makes up part of a whole new product: Cloud Text-to-Speech. Read More
Get ready for the little person living inside your phone and speaker to sound a lot more life-like. Google believes it has reached a new milestone in the quest to make computer-generated speech indistinguishable from human speech with Tacotron 2, a system that trains neural networks to generate eerily natural-sounding speech from text, and they have the samples to prove it. Read More
If you've never used it before, Pocket is a storage place for all the articles you want to read later. You can use the browser extensions to add articles, then read them later through the site or mobile app. The Android app is receiving a new update, improving on the text-to-speech playback feature, with more functionality available in the beta channel. Read More
Google Text-to-speech may not be the sexiest app out there, but it's a particularly useful one for many people, especially those who make use of accessibility options such as Talkback on Android phones. The last meaningful update to it came back in April (v3.11) with a few new languages (Bangla (India), Czech, Khmer, Nepali, Sinhala, and Ukrainian) as well as improvements to voices and better number processing.
The latest update brings the app up to version 3.13.3 and includes support for two more languages: Filipino and Greek. There's also a new setting for language detection on devices running Oreo and a few more improvements to how the voices sound. Read More
Google's Text-to-speech (TTS) is an accessibility feature that's long been a part of Android. It's a screen reader that can read aloud anything currently on display, a vital utility for users who are blind or partially-sighted. TTS isn't updated very often, but when it is it's usually to add something meaningful. The last update added support for new languages, as well as pronunciation and intonation improvements. We've now been made aware that there's also an experimental always-on language detection switch, available to those using Android O. Read More
Google TTS was updated to version 3.11 a few days ago, but the changelog was just posted after a minor bump to 3.11.12. It turns out that this one brings support for several new languages including Ukrainian, Czech, Bangla (native to India and Bangladesh), Khmer (aka Cambodian), Nepali, and Sinhala (native to Sri Lanka).
There are also improvements to voices as well as a new option to disable number processing so that numbers can be read as they are. You might want to flip that toggle if the numbers were being read in a way that confuses you. Read More