I went to the Play store to search for a text to speech app. To my surprise, it said I already had one: Google Text To Speech, and that it was probably already on. Sure enough, in settings, there it was. But not a word - zero - about how to use it, or point it to any arbitrary text, and have it start reading.

I found this post which lauded what this app can do - but using it, controlling it? No joy. Then I read in this article about Read Aloud, a Chrome extension. Apparently, Google TTS, despite the name, is NOT used to read text?! I guess it doesn't matter if there is no way to control it. So I got Read Aloud, after checking that it works on mobile and not just desktop.

Supposedly, you can control it from an icon. But after clicking the button, did I see an icon? No, of course not. People, what am I missing here? I just want to use my phone to read arbitrary text. How do I make that happen? Thank.

  • Just to clarify, Google TTS is just a TTS engine. It can be used by any apps (including accessibility service) that need TTS service, but the engine itself won't run without those apps. On the other hand, there are other TTS engines than Google's one which can be used as an alternative choice, but still... they need necessary apps to run.
    – Andrew T.
    May 19, 2019 at 4:09

1 Answer 1


Go to Settings -> Accessibility. Make sure that "Select to Speak" is enabled. Then, an icon will appear in the screen.

If you don't have "Select to Speak", download and install Android Accessibility Suite. "Select to Speak" will then be listed among the accessibility services.

To read a text aloud, press the icon, select the part of text you want to read. You will then hear it. You can change the speech rate and pitch by going to Settings -> Accessibility -> Text-to-speech output

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