Speechify vs. Apple: Which voice recognition is better?

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Comparison on November 20, 2022
Speechify vs. Apple—Discover why Speechify is a better text to speech app and some of the key differences between these two TTS options.

    Speechify vs. Apple: Which voice recognition is better?

    Text to speech (TTS) is a form of assistive technology that uses speech synthesis to read digital text aloud. It’s extremely useful for students, people who want to multitask audiobook lovers, and individuals with learning disabilities and visual impairments. Those who want to take full advantage of text to speech technology can do so with various software, from Apple’s built-in text to speech feature to dedicated TTS apps like Speechify.

    Understanding voice recognition

    In order to appreciate the advancements made by Speechify and Apple, it is essential to have a solid understanding of voice recognition technology. Voice recognition, also known as speech recognition, refers to the ability of a device to interpret spoken language and convert it into text or perform specific tasks based on voice commands.

    How voice recognition works

    Voice recognition uses both hardware and software. The hardware, like microphones, captures our voice. The software then figures out what we’re saying. Think of the microphone as the ear of the device. It listens to our words and turns them into signals. These signals go to the software, which then tries to understand our words.

    The microphone’s quality is super important. A good microphone can hear the small differences in how we speak. This helps the device understand us better.

    The software part is a bit like the brain. It uses special rules and patterns to figure out what we’re saying. It listens to the sounds of our words, the tone, and the rhythm. Then, it matches these with known patterns to write down our words or follow a voice command.

    The impact of voice recognition in our lives

    Voice recognition is everywhere now. It’s in our phones, speakers, and even in our homes. It makes our lives easier. For example, instead of typing a message, we can just say it, and the device writes it down for us. Because of new improvements, devices can now understand us even when we talk naturally. This saves us a lot of time.

    But it’s not just about convenience. Voice recognition is a big help for people with disabilities. Some people find it hard to type or use devices the usual way. With voice recognition, they can talk to devices and get things done. This makes them feel more independent and included in today’s digital world.

    Voice recognition is also used in many job areas. In hospitals, doctors can speak, and the system writes down their words. This helps doctors save time and makes sure they don’t make mistakes in their notes. In customer service, instead of pressing buttons on a phone, we can just say what we need. This makes getting help or information faster and easier.

    How does Apple text to speech work?

    Apple devices come with built-in text to speech technology, and no, we’re not talking about Siri. With this tool, you’ll be able to highlight text on your phone and have your device read it aloud. This tool is not the same as the VoiceOver feature, which sends notifications to your phone, including alerts and icon badges.

    This is how you can set up the TTS functionality on the following iOS devices:


    To turn on Apple’s text to speech feature on your iPhone, you will need to activate it in the settings. Go to “Accessibility” and head over to “Spoken Content.” Here, you can adjust the “speak selection,” “speak screen,” “speech controller,” “highlight content,” “speaking rate,” and many other functionalities.

    Now, all you need to do is find the text you want the TTS tool to read aloud and highlight it. The “Speak” option should appear. Keep in mind that the settings menu might not look the same for older iPhone models.


    Apple’s text to speech functionality is activated through a keyboard shortcut on a Mac (it’s the “Option” and “Tab” keys by default). Another option is to set an onscreen controller. You can do this by going to “Accessibility” in the “System Settings.” When you choose “Spoken Content,” you need to toggle the “Speak Selection” option.

    What makes Speechify a more versatile TTS app?

    Speechify is a text to speech platform that converts written text into audio files. It was first designed for students with learning disabilities, like dyslexia and ADHD, but anyone can use it. Here are some different features and functionalities that make Speechify a more versatile TTS app:

    More languages

    If English is not your first language or even your second language, don’t worry. Speechify offers voiceovers in 30 different languages, including Arabic, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Turkish, Korean, Greek, Italian, and Chinese.

    More voice options

    Speechify offers more than 30 high-quality, natural-sounding voices. In addition, Speechify has premium voice actors and celebrity voices like Gwyneth Paltrow and Snoop Dogg. Once you select a voice of your choice, you can even customize it further by changing the accent or even the reading speed.

    Read documents as well as highlighted text

    Speechify can read any type of written text, including Microsoft Word documents, emails, PDF files, Google Docs texts, and more. If you use the Speechify Safari extension or the Chrome extension, you’ll be able to listen to turn web pages into audio files. You can also use Speechify for social media, podcasts, and bookmarks.

    Larger platform availability

    Speechify is available on more than just Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. This text to speech app can also be downloaded on Android devices on Google Play or as a Windows desktop app. What’s more, this TTS app can be installed as a Chrome extension, so you can use it for texts you upload to your Google Drive. A Safari extension is also available for Mac users.

    Natural-sounding voices

    One of the best things about Speechify texts that have been converted to audio is that they are read with natural-sounding voices, making your listening experience enjoyable. To make it even better, you can adjust the reading speed of the voiceovers. With Speechify Premium, you can listen to 900 words per minute, increasing the playback speed by 4.5x.

    Note-taking tools

    Speechify premium offers advanced tools like note-taking, highlighting, importing, and more. This tool is especially important for students who can use Speechify to help them with schoolwork and reading materials.

    Audio file extraction

    Once you create an audio file, you can save it to your device and listen to it as many times as you like. This feature is very useful when you need to go through complex material and listen to it numerous times. It’s also a handy feature when you want to listen to an audio file offline.

    OCR technology

    Speechify features integrated optical character recognition (OCR) technology, allowing it to read aloud text from images and screenshots, as well.

    Speechify vs. Apple: Which is better?

    Now that we have delved into the intricacies of Speechify and Apple’s voice recognition technologies, it’s time to compare them head-to-head.

    Accuracy and efficiency

    Imagine trying to read a book with complex words or listening to an audiobook with various accents on platforms like Amazon or Audible. You’d want the words to be clear and the accents to be understandable. That’s what voice recognition is all about: understanding and interpreting human speech, no matter how it’s spoken.

    Speechify shines brightly in this area. It’s not just about recognizing words; it’s about understanding the nuances of human speech. Think of it as a smart tool that can pick up even the slightest variations in how we speak.

    Whether you’re from the bustling streets of New York or the serene landscapes of New Zealand, Speechify gets what you’re saying. Its technology is designed to handle tricky words and different accents, making it a go-to choice for people from diverse backgrounds.

    Apple, on the other hand, has Siri as its champion. Siri is like that friend who listens to you every day and learns more about you as time goes on. The more you interact with Siri, the better it becomes at understanding your speech patterns, preferences, and quirks.

    It’s a dynamic tool that evolves based on user interactions. However, just like when you’re browsing Amazon and sometimes need the specialized focus of Audible for audiobooks, there are moments when a more specialized tool like Speechify becomes essential.

    What sets Speechify apart is its knack for understanding professional jargon. In fields like medicine or law, the terminology can get quite complex. Words aren’t just words; they carry weight and meaning. Misinterpreting them can lead to significant errors. That’s where Speechify steps in.

    It’s tailored to understand these professional terms, ensuring that whether you’re dictating a medical prescription or a legal document, the transcription is spot on. So, for professionals who often find themselves using intricate terms, Speechify seems to be the more reliable companion.

    User experience

    Another crucial aspect of comparing voice recognition technologies is the overall user experience they provide. Beyond accuracy and efficiency, the ease of use and intuitive interface play a significant role in user satisfaction.

    Speechify impresses with its user-friendly interface and intuitive features. The app’s clean design and well-organized layout make it easy for users to navigate and access the desired functionalities. The continuous learning capabilities adapt to individual usage patterns, enhancing user satisfaction over time.

    Moreover, Speechify’s compatibility with various platforms ensures a seamless experience across devices, allowing users to effortlessly switch between their smartphones, tablets, and computers without sacrificing functionality or performance.

    On the other hand, Apple’s voice recognition, integrated deeply into its ecosystem, offers a consistent user experience across iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple devices. This integration allows users to seamlessly access voice recognition features and interact with Siri regardless of the device they are using.

    Whether it’s dictating a message on the iPhone, composing an email on the Mac, or setting reminders on the Apple Watch, the user experience remains cohesive and familiar.

    Furthermore, Apple’s commitment to privacy and security enhances the user experience by ensuring that voice data is protected and used responsibly. With end-to-end encryption and on-device processing, users can trust that their voice interactions are kept private and secure.

    Both Speechify and Apple offer impressive voice recognition technologies with their unique strengths. While Speechify’s attention to detail and accuracy in specialized terminologies make it a preferred choice for professionals, Apple’s seamless integration and consistent user experience across devices make it a compelling option for Apple ecosystem users.

    Ultimately, the choice between Speechify and Apple depends on individual needs, preferences, and the specific context in which the voice recognition technology will be utilized.

    Try Speechify on your Apple device

    Apple’s text to speech software is solid, but it’s limited, and it sounds robotic. If you want to listen to natural-sounding audio files as if they’re podcasts, Speechify can provide you with this experience. If you’re still not sure about downloading Speechify for your Apple device, you can always try Speechify online for free.


    What TTS apps are there other than Speechify?

    If you don’t want to use Speechify, other options include Pocket, Talk Free, Voice Aloud Reader, TTS Reader, Murf AI, NaturalReader, Synthesis Studio, Voice Dream Reader, and more.

    Is Speechify the best TTS app?

    Taking into consideration Speechify’s premium features and the wide selection of voices and languages, Speechify is a top-rated text to speech app.

    Is there a Speechify app for Mac?

    Speechify can be downloaded as a desktop app on macOS devices. You can install it for free and choose from the available voices. You can even use it with different apps and websites on your Mac, like Slack, Dropbox, iCloud, and iTunes.

    Does Speechify work on iOS?

    Speechify is available in the App Store, so you can download it on your iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices.

    What does Speechify do?

    Speechify is a text to speech app that translates written text into spoken language using natural-sounding voices.

    Is Speechify easy to use?

    Speechify is extremely easy to use thanks to its user-friendly interface and simple instructions.

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    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.

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    “I am a student who had dyslexia so is very very very helpful for me. A reading assignment that would normally take me 30+ minutes took 10! I will be using this very often.” - CHAMA NORLAND

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    “Congratulations for this lovely project. Speechify is brilliant. Growing up with dyslexia this would have made a big difference. I'm so glad to have it today.”
    - Sir Richard Branson
    "Speechify lets me listen to Goop blog posts out loud in the car and gets my friends through grad school. It's amazing for scripts."
    - Gwyneth Paltrow