If you’re looking for the best Android Kindle Text to Speech app or solution for your phone or tablet, you should read this article. There are different options available – apps, workarounds, different TTS voice engines and more.
Kindle Reading App and TalkBack for Android Kindle Text to Speech
You can get the Kindle app to read out aloud to you on a smartphone or tablet. The app won’t read on its own, but there is a (quirky) workaround. First, you need to load the book you want to listen to in the Kindle app. Next, enable TalkBack in Settings>Accessibility. Note that when you have it enabled, you first need to select an item by single-tapping and then double-tap to use it. It takes some time to get used to. Next open the Amazon Kindle app again and you can start listening to the ebook.
Now there are two options – to let the reader read to the end of each page, then flip the page manually to continue. This hinders the goal of listening while driving and even walking, or just resting one’s eyes.
The second option is continuous reading. To use it first load the book in the Kindle app, then enable TalkBack in the settings, open the Kindle app and make sure that the page you are on is not highlighted. If it is, tap with two fingers on the screen (I actually sometimes need to do series of different gestures for the page to finally lose the green highlight). Now swipe right on the screen. You should hear the voice say “Start continuous reading, double tap to start Text to Speech”. Now double tap the screen with one finger. This will start continuous reading mode.
Tip: You can edit your TalkBack settings and enable it to start continuous reading after a shake.
Tip: You can change the default TalkBack voice engine in Settings->Language and Input->Text-to-speech output->Preferred engine.
Tip: You can slow down the speech rate in Settings->Language and Input->Text-to-speech output->Speech rate.
Note: try to slow down after the single-tap to select, before the double-tap to use an item. Once you work that out, it’s a breeze. I almost gave up on this Kindle Text to Speech method when I first tried it but now it works just fine for me.
Third-Party Android Reading Apps for Kindle Text to Speech
Many of the top rated Android reading apps support TTS, including FBReader, AlReader, and Cool Reader among others. This is an easier way to go about Kindle Text to Speech on Android – install an Android reading app with TTS support and you can start listening to Kindle books, with Google TTS by default.
If you don’t like Google TTS, there are other good Android Text to Speech engines: IVONA, CereProc, SVOX Classic, and Acapella. Some of the engines are more monotonous and robotic, while others are more smooth and natural – you can always listen to a voice sample to decide if you like it before you install it.
IVONA (free) offers a selection of really nice sounding voices and supports 13 languages. It is a nice option for your Kindle text to speech Android.
Google (free) is the default option for many Android devices so you have probably heard it before, and most likely have it in your device. It is actually not as expressive as some other text to speech engines but it supports many languages and has a good voice quality.
CereProc is a paid app – it’s about $1.60 USD per voice, but the voices are very impressive and high quality. You can choose different accents, such as US, UK, Ireland, plus languages other than English.
SVOX offers to try or purchase 40+ male and female voices, and supports 25+ languages. The voices are acceptable but do not sound natural enough. Many of the voices are offered as a 2 week free trial, others cost almost $3 USD per voice.
Acapella offers good quality voices, but you have to buy at least one voice in order to use it. Price per voices ranges between $5 and $10 so it’s quite expensive compared to other apps.
FBReader and TTS
For this to work you will need: an android device, a free Kindle ebook (for the sake of simplicity as not to worry about Amazon DRM), plus FBReader Android reading app and FBReader TTS plugin installed.
Open the book in FBReader, choose the default action for the plugin when prompted, and voila – you will start hearing the book read aloud.
To enhance your reading experience, you can install a different TTS engine, add the voice of your choice, and specify that FBReader uses them instead. For example, I use IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ with IVONA Amy UK English voice.
What is your preferred solution for Kindle Android Text-to-Speech?