Vanity is my favorite sin!

a southern belle's spot in the big city

Text-To-Speech on the iPad

I am an avid user of my kindke3’s text to speech function. It is one of the main reason that i bought the kindle3. Before committing to the kindle, i was really torn between the nook and the kindle. Kindle’s text-to-speech function won over the nook’s expandable memory.
I use the text-to-speech function all the time to read me my ebooks while driving or merely travelling. I send personal documents to my kindle email address and i use the text-to-speech function to listen rather than read. This is especially helpful when i am studying and need to memorize bucketloads of law provisions. I just find it a lot easier to Memorize stuff when i hear it rather than merely reading it.

I am also guilty of using the function to lull me to sleep. I use it all the time that i barely listen to music nowadays. It helps that the kindle’s text-to-speech voice, especially the male vsion, is very human sounding and not that robotic.

So it surprised me that the iPad has a text-to-speech function! I have been a user of the iPad for almost 2years now. (i was one of the early users of the iPad1 even before it was made available in my country and quickly switched to the iPad2 the instant it was possible for me to get my hands on it.)

I was just browsing the web idly, missing my kindle more and more when i googled for these exact words: “iPad text-to-speech iBooks” thinking that i would be saddled with a barrage of app options. I was surprised to find out that such apple has considerately included the text-to-speech function built in the device itself, just like on the kindle. Even moreso, it has been available since the iPad1’s release!

Just go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Voice-Over>On
And then you’d be saddled with the annoying robotic female voive reading everything on the screen and reendering the ipad not so touch responsive. But i have a work around. Instead of turning the voice over on, set the “TripleClick Home” to “Toggle VoiceOver” then go to your iBooks or whatever document you want to have the iPad read aloud, then triple click the home button and voila! Text-to-speech activated! Just triple click again to turn it off.

While it is true that the iPad’s text-to-speech function is nowhere near as good as the one on the kindle, in fact, it is highly robotic and annoying, but i revel in the knowledge that it’s there, available for use. 🙂

Will it make me change my mind about my kindle love? Hell no! The voice quality of my Kindle’s text-to-speech function is superb on its own, even without comparing it to the surprisingly low quality of the iPad’s offering. Jeff Bezos did a far better job on this one than Steve Jobs. Plus, i cannot and do not wish to give up my e-ink screen thankyouverymuch!


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