Text to speech is an assistive technology that reads digital text aloud and can assist with writing and editing, improve focus, or help people who struggle to read.
These text-to-speech apps for iPhone will make your life easier, regardless of your reasons for using them.
1. Text to Speech!
This eponymous app goes the extra mile to do what it says on the tin. Simple and sleek, it offers 95 different voices and 38 languages to choose from and allows you to change the rate and pitch of the voice—giving you full control. Simply start typing inside the app, and it will begin saying the words.
Through the Settings tab at the top right, you can change all the voice and app settings to suit your needs. The app will also let you export the audio or copy the text you've written to the clipboard to paste elsewhere. Quite a cool feature of the app is that you can use it to mix into phone calls, but keep in mind that you won't hear that on your own device.
Download: Text to Speech! (Free, in-app purchases available)
Speak4Me works much the same as Text to Speech, offering three simple tabs: one for Favorites (saved past recordings), one for the actual text to speech, and one for Settings. You can change the rate and pitch of the voice, with an array of voices to choose from and a reasonable variety of different languages available.
You can share the recordings of the audio across social messaging apps, such as WhatsApp or Messenger. Or you can save them to your device for later use.
There's a voice animation feature that doesn't add anything functionality-wise but is a nice superficial feature. There isn't an in-app way to share text to speech in phone calls, but this can be circumvented by setting your phone to loudspeaker and using the Listen button on the app for the person you're calling to hear.
Download: Speak4Me (Free, in-app purchases available)
3. Voice Aloud Reader
Voice Aloud Reader, by Marcin Olawski, is a very capable and responsive app that saves you time by reading aloud digital text from websites, books, and whatever you put into the app yourself. It has a variety of languages, but only three voices for English. While the choices for English voices may be a little limited, the app more than makes up for it with its capability and unique features.
Voice Aloud Reader has an in-built web browser, where you can search webpages and add them to the reader to be read aloud. Through the My Library tab, the app can read books and files aloud. The app comes with A Christmas Carol, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Alice in Wonderland pre-loaded, but by pressing the Add icon in the top right you can import documents of your own.
This app, used in conjunction with text-to-speech for Windows software, will ensure that you're always saving time by listening to books or articles rather than having to read them.
Download: Voice Aloud Reader (Free, in-app purchases available)
Speak is very responsive and has a simplified UI that allows you to learn the app's layout within minutes. You use the central box to input words, then press the Speak button to hear them played back to you. Like with the Text to Speak! and Speak4Me apps, you can alter the pitch and speed of the audio using controls just below the Speak button.
You can Export your entire history as a CSV file or individual audio recordings. There's a good range of languages and voices available. Unfortunately, there is no ability to import books or web pages, but you can always circumvent this by copying and pasting text from a webpage or e-book.
There is also no in-app feature to use the app while on phone calls, but this can be circumvented by using a loudspeaker while on a call.
Download: Speak (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. Text to Speech: Audio Books
Text to Speech: Audio Books by Vulcan Labs is simple to navigate and responsive. It offers a great list of options for your text-to-speech needs. With the ability to import from Gallery, Camera, Text, Links, or Cloud, you can input any text from almost anywhere and have it read out to you by cutting edge AI that sounds more lifelike than the voices offered across the other apps on this list.
While the number of voices offered on the free version is quite limited, they are very lifelike, which makes listening to text feel more natural. You can play around with the speed of the playback, making the voice faster if you want to get through a block of text as quick as possible.
Texts can be categorized into Folders for easy access, and the app will highlight the word is being spoken so you can follow along. The quality of the voices offered here make this app a worthy consideration for your text-to-speech needs.
Download: Text to Speech: Audio Books (Free, subscription available)
6. Native iOS Text to Speech
iOS has a very capable native text-to-speech feature that can be enabled through Settings. This feature has a couple of different voices available for a wide variety of languages, with more available to download. You can change the speed of the text-to-speech and enable highlighting of the text being spoken to help you follow along.
It'll also Speak Words While Typing if you want, and you can enable Hold to Speak Predictions to assist you with finding the right word to text to someone.
A cool, unique feature that native iOS text-to-speech offers is the ability to add custom pronunciations, which you can spell out or dictate. You can't see a history of text you've had turned into speech, but you can always use online tools to turn text-to-speech into MP3 audio.
Turning Text Into Speech
Whatever your needs for text-to-speech, the apps featured above, as well as the native iOS text-to-speech feature, will surely suit your needs. And best of all, they're all available to use for free.