For questions regarding apps that convert text to audible synthesized speech.

Text to speech, abbreviated as TTS, is a form of speech synthesis that converts text into spoken voice output.

TTS should not be confused with voice response systems. Voice response systems synthesize speech by concatenating sentences from a database of prerecorded words and are used for different purposes than TTS systems, which form sentences and/or phrases based on a language's graphemes and phonemes.

Voice response systems are limited to synthesizing sentences that contain only words that have been predetermined by the system.

TTS systems, in contrast, are theoretically capable of "reading" any string of text characters to form original sentences.

Although initially used by the blind to listen to written material, it is now used extensively to convey financial data, e-mail messages and other information via telephone for everyone. Text-to-speech is also used on handheld devices such as portable GPS units to announce street names when giving directions.

Many applications now incorporate the text-to-speech technology. One example is Google text to speech

Google Text-to-speech powers applications to read the text on the screen aloud. For example, it can be used by:

  • Google Play Books to “Read Aloud” a book
  • Google Translate to speak translations aloud so that one can hear the pronunciation of a word
  • TalkBack and accessibility applications for spoken feedback across the device.

References:

  1. TTS - text to speech
  2. http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/52797/text-to-speech
  3. Google text-to-speech
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