Don’t like the voice of your mobile when reading application texts? Well, we take you through how to make the Google Assistant voice read them instead of the phone’s TTS engine: thanks to Google Cloud you can access the voice interpretation of the participants.
Applications such as e-books introduce text-to-speech functions, a way listen to the text read on the phone. The problem is, the so-called TTS (Text to Speech) is usually robotic, which is pretty annoying. But there is a TTS system which stands out for its quality and which, on the contrary, is not very accessible: Google Assistant’s voz. The good news is that it can be used in any app that uses Google Cloud.
Make Google Assistant read any text using TTS
The text-to-speech or TTS system is built into all Android devices so that apps can read aloud the instructions generated in the code. Map applications can anticipate the next motorway exit in audio, for example; or e-book applications allow the user to listen to the texts so that they do not have to look at the book. The possibilities are vast.
Despite the fact that TTS services make written words much more accessible, they have a downside: the system that articulates robotic voices is generally such as thus, robotic
Although it is possible to apply the Google Assistant TTS to applications such as Moon Reader + (the application we used as a test), the way to achieve this is not easy since must use a Google Cloud API. This has the following disadvantages:
- Google Cloud is a paid service with a free usage amount. To use the Assistant TTS, you need to get a Cloud Text-to-speech API, like we need to create an app. The service offers 1 million dictated characters per month (in its ‘Wavenet’ version, the highest quality). Be very careful not to overdo it.
- It is essential to have an internet connection when using TTS. Google offers access to the TTS Assistant for live consultations, it is not possible to download the engine to the phone.
Using Google Assistant voices is a huge step forward in the experience of listening to a book, driving directions, or whatever text the phone needs to read, but It is not something easy to achieve or 100% recommended. The number of requests being limited you need to keep up to date with what is being consumed. Also, using Google Cloud is somewhat cumbersome as it is intended to give access to developers, not end users.
Using Google Cloud to change the mobile TTS engine is very efficient, but cumbersome. And it may cause a cost if the usage is exceeded, it should be taken into account
How to change phone voices in Google Assistant
Once the main drawbacks have been seen, let’s see how to achieve the desired Google TTS. The company offers two types via the Cloud: the standard or typical Android robotic voice (with 4 million free characters read per month) and the own voice of assistant or Wavenet, the highest quality (1 million free characters read per month). The application that gives access to voices is aiTTS.
The aiTTS app we recommend is developed by Milmike and can be downloaded from their blog. It is 100% safe (we checked it with Virus Total) and allows access to the Cloud Text-to-Speech API so that it can be selected in Android settings. Let’s see the process.
- The first thing to do is download the APK of aiTTS. Download it from the Milmike page and install it on your Android.
- Play it hard: get the Cloud Text-to-speech API key. Your Google Account must have a valid payment method other than PayPal.
- Go to this page and activate Google Cloud for your Google account. Accept the conditions.
- Once Google Cloud is active in your account, it’s time to access the API. Go to this link.
- Click on “Activate”. Google Cloud will activate the API for your account.
- Once the API is active, go to the “Credentials” section.
- You will see this in ‘API keys‘the one you just created appears. Click on the copy icon and send the copy to the phone (by WhatsApp, Telegram …).
- Open the aiTTS app on your Android and paste the API key you copied from Google Cloud.
- If the password is correct, you will be able to select Google voice. Find your preferred language and choose the Wavenet option from the drop-down list. For example, in Spanish from Europe, only the male voice of Google Assistant is available.
- All you have to do is select aiTTS as the default voice engine on your Android mobile. Access the phone settings.
- Go to options ”Language and text input“. The specific option varies depending on the brand of the device.
- Find the “Text to speech”, “Text to speak” or “TTS” menu.
- Navigate to “Preferred Engine” and select aiTTS. Ready.
It is not a very simple process and involves the risk of using a payment service such as Google Cloud, you must take this into account before starting it. It is also necessary to ensure that the use of the characters do not exceed the free time What Google offers with the Cloud API: go to this page to view the statistics. The first million words per month is free, then it costs around $ 13 per million. And if you want to cancel the service, you have to close billing from here.
Via | Reddit