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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5 Comments

1. jove39

Posts: 2148; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I don't understand samsung's obsession to create duplicate of every service google & apple offers...why can't their execs focus time & effort on improving touch wiz and more importantly making blast/fire proof batteries!

5. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

i agree, i don't understand that either maybe because they want their own os or just because they are sooooo big that they want them. Samsung does more then most people think they do. they don't just make microwaves and phones and fridges, they make medical equipment have their own hospital, a military department that makes weapons, theme parks the list goes on

2. Kohai

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 04, 2010

The Samsung's Spain spanish version is far better than Google's one.

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

^^ Correct. But clueless people call what Samsung does is "duplicate", while ignoring the improvements in Samsung's version. Samsung's TTS engine is also much better than Google's TTS in German language.

4. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

you know, i never had a issue with Samsung text to speech so i guess i never cared about this feature

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