Ask Juan: Why is Google Text-to-Speech a separate app now?

Screenshot_2013-11-07-10-38-28Starting today you’ll start seeing an app to update you’ve probably never seen before: Google Text-to-Speech.

This is Google’s software engine which drives all of the speech capabilities on your phone. Every time your phone talks to you, it’s using some kind of software library to translate text into that helpful robotic voice which gives you turn by turn directions in Google Maps or answers your questions in Google Now.

This is a service which until now was built into Android and only updated whenever an update for the OS was pushed to phones and tablets. Like the  Google Keyboard, now this service lives on its own in the Google Play app store.

Google has had issues with device and feature fragmentation, and other companies often install their own TTS engines, which is why Samsung and LG phones have a slightly different “personality” than their Nexus counterparts.

Let’s take a look at the what the service does, and what it sounds like!

Share your thoughts?