Can somebody help with how can I listen to text messages on my phone? One of my friend using this same feature now I want to know how it works. Is there any way I can listen to my texts?

  • 2
    Why don't you call or text your friend and ask him/her about it?
    – Firelord
    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:22
  • 1
    Welcome to the Android Enthusiasts! I've just added the text-to-speech tag to your question, please check answered questions using this – especially Is there an app that will vocalize (text to speech) a message (SMS)?
    – Izzy
    Dec 29, 2015 at 7:06
  • It is an accessibility feature found under Settings -> Acessibility -> Text to Speech. Refer @Izzy 's linked question for further details. Dec 29, 2015 at 7:11
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    @TamoghnaChowdhury the linked question is rather discussing specific apps for that (yeah, I'd VTC – but as it's locked one cannot even flag it), so maybe you want to answer with some more details? (I've just rephrased the question to avoid off-topic VTC, so your answer would perfectly fit the OP's intention :)
    – Izzy
    Dec 29, 2015 at 7:17

2 Answers 2


This mentions the apps in @Izzy's linked question.

If you have Android, use the following apps:

  • SMS Reader
  • DriveSafe.ly®

Source: Listen to text messages

  • Welcome to Android Enthusiasts! This post may answer the question, but if any apps are mentioned, it is standard practice to link to their websites/hosts at least once in the post per app. Dec 29, 2015 at 8:23

The text-to-speech feature mentioned might not be app-specific (refer to @Izzy's linked question for help on that). It probably is an Android system feature enabled.

The Android system feature mentioned is the accessibility setting of text-to-speech (or TTS for short). It is better referred to in-system as Talkback, and the app is automatically updated through Google Play as it is provided by Google. Your OEM may provide either Google TTS or Pico TTS, or both. Google TTS is of higher voice quality compared to Pico TTS.

As to enabling Talkback so that (every text you can touch on the screen, including) your SMSes can be read out by your phone (although that could be a security liability), I'll detail the standard method.

To turn on TalkBack, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings → Accessibility.
  2. Follow the steps for your version of Android. Learn how to check your Android version.

    • Android 4.1 and above: Select TalkBack and slide the TalkBack switch to the on position.

    • Android 4.0: Select TalkBack and slide the TalkBack switch to the on position. Next, go back to the previous screen and turn on Explore by touch.

    • Android 3.2 and earlier: Select the Accessibility checkbox, then select the TalkBack checkbox.

The confirmation screen displays a list of permissions that allow TalkBack to provide useful spoken feedback. To confirm that you allow these actions and to begin using TalkBack, touch OK.

Now, in your messages app, tap on the message and it will be read out to you.


TalkBack will read out anything you tap on-screen, as long as it has text associated with it. Beware!

For further details on Talkback, check out Google's official product support page for Android Accessibility here.


This is not without side effects. TalkBack will read out everything on your screen you touch if it can be acted on or has text in it, including notifications. Also, it will read out stuff like "colon p" for :p emoji and will read out all the characters in a web address. It will even tell you what you have touched, and let you act with a double-tap or move on to the next element without triggering anything.

Quoting from this Android Central article @Izzy mentioned:

TalkBack isn't something you'll want to use unless you need it. Frankly, it's darn near impossible to use when you can see what it is telling you you're seeing, and you can't help but tap and try to do things before it is ready.

Now, TalkBack can be specifically enabled for just the messaging app(s) through usage of an automation app like Tasker or Macrodroid.

With credits to @Izzy, these should help you out with configuring Tasker for this purpose, as you need it:

  1. Read SMS while in Car Dock
  2. Youtube Tasker Tutorial: read and respond to text messages
  3. Find more here... ;)


  1. http://developer.android.com/design/patterns/accessibility.html
  2. https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6006564?hl=en

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