How to swap Samsung's default text-to-speech engine with Google's TTS voices

Android's text-to-speech (TTS) engine comes in handy for many situations. Reading aloud turn-by-turn directions in your navigation app comes to mind, but also pronouncing words correctly when learning a foreign language, or reading articles, emails or texts aloud with the respective timbre that doesn't sound robotic and monotonous.

Unfortunately, the best voice packs out there, from the IVONA TTS engine, which were 200MB+, and covered several major languages, disappeared from the Play Store when Amazon acquired IVONA to use in its Echo and other devices that utilize Amazon's Alexa voice-controlled assistant. The newest Google TTS voices aren't bad, though, and will do the job.

If you have a Samsung phone, however, your default TTS engine is the maker's one, while Google's TTS pack has to be picked from the Play Store, or designated as default from the settings, if you have it installed. Here is what you need to do:

1. Install or update the Google TTS app from the Play Store, if you don't have it, or have an older version;

2. Go to Settings > Language & Input > Text-to-speech output;

3. Swap Samsung's TTS for the Google Text-to-speech option as your preferred engine. Going further into the settings lets you download different language packs, and set the speed of the readouts, too.

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