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How to listen to Android messages out loud

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Accessing messages hands-free is handy in various scenarios. Learn how to listen to Android messages out loud using native features and third-party apps.

How to listen to Android messages out loud

Having your phone read aloud text messages can be handy, especially if you have accessibility issues such as visual impairment. However, even if you don't, the ability to have your phone read text messages aloud can be helpful for many reasons.

Hands-free communication makes it easier to multitask, and it's a great way to stay connected with friends and family without stopping what you're doing. It also allows you to keep up with important notifications from work and other applications without constantly looking at your phone.

This article shares four methods for reading Android messages aloud.

Method 1 – Use Google Voice Match

Instead of squinting at the screen, Google Voice Match lets you use your phone's built-in 'listen' function. It'll read out any notifications or messages you receive in a friendly, natural tone – no robotic monotone here.

Just ask it to read your emails, text (SMS) messages, calendar reminders, or anything else you need. Not only is this great when you want to keep up with the latest developments, but it also makes hands-free use a more accessible, simplified option.

To use Google Voice Match, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google app or download it from the Google Play Store.
  2. Once the Google app is open, tap on your profile picture in the upper right corner of your screen. This will bring up a menu with various options.
  3. Scroll down towards the bottom and select "Settings" from the menu.
  4. Select "Settings" followed by "Voice" and then "Voice Match." This will take you to a new page where you can begin setting up your preferred options for Google Voice Match.
  5. Turn on the toggle switch next to "Access with Voice Match."
  6. Now select "Voice Match," which should also be near the top of your screen under the "Voice" tab once selected.
  7. Create a voice model for yourself and teach the system how you sound when speaking certain phrases or words. To do this, say "Ok Google" a few times into the microphone until it has learned how you say it and recognizes it correctly each time you speak it out loud.

With the command "Show me my last messages," you can quickly check for recent conversations. And when you need to send someone a message, use the phrase "Send a text." To check unread messages, simply say, "Do I have any messages?"

With these helpful voice commands, keeping up with your conversations has never been easier and more efficient. However, remember that you must begin with "Ok Google" or "Hey Google," followed by the voice command.

Method 2 – Use Select to Speak

"Select to Speak" is a text to speech feature that allows users with difficulty reading or visual impairments to hear text messages instead of reading them.

Here's how to use the feature to read your texts on an Android phone:

  1. Tap the gear icon to open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Navigate to "Accessibility" and then tap "Select to Speak." In some cases, you may need to download the Android Accessibility Suite from Google Play to gain access to this feature.
  3. Once you have located "Select to Speak," turn on its "shortcut" option to make it easier for you to access this feature when needed. If you wish, you can change your shortcut by tapping "Select to Speak shortcut" and following the on-screen instructions.
  4. To use "Select to Speak," swipe up with two fingers (or three fingers if TalkBack is on). Alternatively, tap the" Accessibility" button.
  5. Open the messages app and long-tap on the text you want to read.
  6. Tap the Play button. The message will then be read in a natural-sounding voice. You can adjust the volume or speech rate as you like.

One of the best things about the "Select to Speak" feature is that it works on third-party apps such as WhatsApp. So whether you're texting via Wi-Fi or your internet service provider, you'll be able to keep the conversation going without squinting at your screen.

Method 3 – Set up Google Assistant

Google Assistant is an AI-powered digital assistant from Google that helps people complete tasks quickly and easily with just their voice.

Here's how to configure Google Assistant and have it read text out loud:

  1. Open the Google Play Store and download the Google Assistant app.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the app. Be sure to give the app permission to access your Messaging app.
  3. Once everything is set, all you need to do is say, "Hey, Google," followed by "read my messages" or "read my last message," and it will do so immediately.

Method 4 – Use Speechify

Speechify is a text to speech application that enables readers to have their documents, emails, tutorials, web pages, text messages, and more read aloud to them. It is a great tool for those who want to improve their comprehension or save time reading long documents.

Even if you have a long thread of texts between you and a friend or loved one, you don't need to squint at your screen to read each message. Instead, you can load it up in Speechify and easily digest it without any of the pain that comes with squinting at your screen and straining your eyes.

Speechify's key features include powerful voice synthesis technology, custom playback control settings, text highlighting, and the ability to adjust the pitch and volume of the audio output.

Voices can be customized according to gender, accent, and language needs, allowing for a more personalized listening experience. This is especially useful when listening to lengthy texts in non-native languages or unfamiliar dialects such as British English or Australian English.

Try Speechify on your Android device

Speechify is a text to speech program that can easily convert any digital or physical text into a listening experience. The program is available as an Android app, but you can also access it via a web browser like Chrome.

It's also compatible with other operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Amazon Fire, and Apple iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads.

Why wait? Get started with Speechify right away and discover a new way to read your texts.

FAQ

How do you listen to audio messages on Android?

You can use a tool like Google Assistant or install a text to speech app like Speechify.

How do I set up voicemail on Android?

Simply open the Settings app and head to the "Voicemail" section.

Can you listen to messages from a specific person on Android?

Yes, you can. You just need to set up Google Voice Match, Select to Speak, or install Speechify.

What is the easiest way to listen to messages on Android?

Download the Speechify app for Android and load the text messages you want to read aloud.

Is Speechify only for Android?

Speechify is available on all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Fire OS.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.