The text-to-speech option provided by Android is an extremely useful feature that allows you to interact with your phone via spoken commands.
As with any new technology, there is a breaking-in period where you learn to properly use this function. First, you will need to download the Gboard app from the Google Play Store and install it as your default phone keyboard.
To make use of text-to-speech, tap anywhere you can add text. Once Gboard has been installed, a mic icon can be seen at the end of the typing field. Tap on the icon to activate text-to-speech. Now the keyboard is ready to listen to your speech and convert it into text.
The following seven tips will help you get the most out of your phone’s text-to-speech feature.
1. Speak Clearly and Naturally
The text-to-speech option makes use of your voice to interpret commands. In order to make your wish clear, you need to speak clearly in your natural voice directly into your phone. If you mumble or speak too fast, the phone’s AI will become confused.
2. Reduce Background Noises
Since this function relies on sound, any background noise has the potential to send the wrong command. The AI might pick up the wrong words from the background and type them out instead of typing the message you wish to send. Try to be in a location with minimal background noise when dictating commands.
3. Use It Often
The Gboard AI works on prior knowledge of your speaking pattern. In order to do its job well, it needs to gather as much data about your speech patterns as possible. That is why you should make an effort to use the feature as often as possible. Over time, the AI will become much better at predicting your commands, leading to a much more smooth, interactive experience.
4. Employ Its Personal Dictionary
The Gboard dictionary is one of the most useful, yet most often overlooked, feature of the text-to-speech function. You can use the dictionary whenever you are stumped for what to say next or are searching for a better way of expressing your thoughts.
Adding your personal slang to your phone’s dictionary will ensure you can dictate your favorite idiomatic words or phrases without the keyboard getting confused and typing the wrong letters. Add your favorite words and sentences to the dictionary so that the AI knows to use that particular expression the next time you say it out loud.
On your Settings menu, go to “Language input,” then click “Personal dictionary” and add words to the dictionary by tapping the “+” icon at the top.
5. Adding Punctuation
Another feature that a surprising number of users are unaware of is that you can add punctuation to the text that you are dictating. In order to make use of this function, you will have to say the punctuation aloud in the place where you wish to add it. Instead of saying, “Wait is this true,” you will say “Wait comma is this true question mark.”
6. Listen to Documents
The text-to-speech function is not just for taking your dictation but also for reading documents out loud. Google PlayBook allows you to turn every document, book, comic, etc. on your phone into an audiobook.
7. Read Options Aloud
The Talkback option is a feature designed to aid users with some sort of vision impairment. If you are unable to properly view the smartphone screen, you can use this feature to have your phone’s AI read the options appearing on the screen aloud.
For text, the reader tells you what is written on the screen. For actionable elements, Talkback lets you know what you have touched, then act with a double-tap or move to the next element without activating a command.
To incorporate Talkback into your phone settings, go to “Settings -> System -> Accessibilty -> Talkback.”
With the text-to-speech function, your smartphone is more accessible than ever. You can make use of this feature to interact with your phone without needing to keep your eyes glued constantly to the screen as you navigate the various option menus, read a digital document or type out a message.