Google Text-to-Speech now on Google Play, update rolling out

As part of Google's ongoing effort to spin off certain software features into Google Play for easier updating, the company has today launched the Google Text-to-Speech engine as a standalone app on the Play Store. The will push out automatically to those using an older version (not you, Nexus 5 owners, you're already up-to-date out of the box). If you install it on a device that doesn't have it already, it'll appear as an option alongside whichever manufacturer-loaded text-to-speech service is currently in use.

The only major change we're seeing compared to the older pre-loaded version is the addition of Korean as a supported language. However the ability to update text-to-speech without requiring an OS upgrade presents the possibility of Google introducing more advanced TTS features through future app updates.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Another step closer to getting the OS in the Play store. ...almost forgot, FIRST!
  • Not really, just proprietary Google apps, which is good. android central app
  • Good for Google. Bad for AOSP
  • Why is it bad for AOSP? The only bad part is that this is another 9meg consumed on top of what is built in.
  • Its bad for aosp because aosp doesn't have these proprietary apps and has the versions before they came out on the play store Posted via Android Central App
  • Yep the whole ideas of open source is that... well it's open source. When a company locks out code it's hurts the users since. I do like how core components are in the store but I would like to see different source projects for those programs. Posted via Android Central App
  • Awesome. I love using text to speech while in my car.
  • How to use it in webpages or emails?
  • Wow, available outside US too? I'm surprised, Google.
  • Your false sense of entitlement is astonishing.
  • I hope they push out an update for the kit kat keyboard as well. I've been experiencing a bug/glitch where the keyboard forgets that a double tap on the keyboard inserts a period and to insert a space for the next sentence and capitalize the next word. This has happened to me as well on my GS3 when I uploaded the leaked 4.4 google keyboard APK last week. But to stay on topic the text to speech is pretty darn handy when you're driving or need to stay "hands free"!
  • You dont need to even lift a finger, just slide to the period and back to the next word.
  • All I get when trying to update it via play store is error error error! O2-UK Posted via Android Central App
  • I would love an automatic reading of books without accessibility option set or screen on.. and why stop at books.. toss in an rss feed and have news kick in..
  • I'm so happy to be free of the overly seductive Samsung HD English voice!
  • Anyone with a G2 should get street names in maps now! Theoretically. I have to wait a while to test. Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • That was exactly what came to my mind. I was very annoyed with "Turn left. Turn right."
  • It works! I get street names! But yeah, the whole "turn left in 500ft, then turn left. Then turn left." Thing sucked. Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • Oddly, this update *removed* spoken street names in Maps on my Nexus 4. Instead of 'turn right on Main St,' now I hear only 'turn right.' Puzzling...
  • Thank you, Alex! This solves an issue on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which very unfortunately does not have the Google text-to-speech voice available in Google Maps. Unless you rooted to fix it, you were stuck with a horribly antiquated and robotic Samsung voice, or with installing another voice engine from the Play store. Thank you, Google, for providing this! It's so great to have this voice back that'd I'd lost when I switched to the Note 3!
  • For text to speech I prefer the IVONA voice still the best in the industry. Amazon also seems to agree as they bought then out. Posted via Android Central App