Text to speech on Chrome vs. Safari

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Tyler Weitzman
By Tyler Weitzman MS in Computer Science, Stanford University in Productivity on June 14, 2022
When it comes to the various text to speech options that are available on Chrome vs. Safari, there are a few distinctions to keep in mind.

    If you had to make a list of some of the most widely used web browsers out there for desktop, laptop and mobile devices, Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari would undoubtedly be right at the top. However, there is a significant gap between those “Number 1” and “Number 2” positions.

    This is especially true when it comes to customizable features like text to speech – technology that helps turn any piece of text-based content into a high quality audio experience. While options are certainly available for both browsers, Chrome is perhaps far more robust to that end. This is true for a number of different reasons, all of which are more than worth exploring.

    Text to Speech: Breaking Down Chrome vs. Safari

    When it comes to the various text to speech options that are available on Chrome vs. Safari, there are a few distinct things about each browser that you need to keep in mind.

    Chief among them is the “walled garden” ecosystem that Apple is known for versus the much more open and robust Google Chrome Store. Chrome simply makes it easier for third party developers to create apps and extensions and get them into the hands of users. Apple goes through a very robust approval process and because of that, there are far fewer options available.

    Market Share of Chrome vs Safari

    Some of this also has to do with the market share of the browsers themselves. While Safari has long since proven itself to be a stable and high quality web browser, it is primarily leveraged by only those who are using Apple computers. Comparatively, the user base is far smaller than that of people who are using Windows machines.

    Chrome is also available on Apple computers and some people maintain that preference, meaning that if a developer has to choose which platform to work on, they’re going to choose something more universal like Chrome the majority of the time.

    Google Chrome has the lions’ share of the browser marketplace at 64% across all devices with Safari at 19% in a worldwide audience.

    Browser Customizability

    Because Google Chrome is heavily customizable, its users also tend to use more extensions than their Apple counterparts. Apple itself has been very good over the years about adding functionality to Safari, but it typically does so through official releases. This means that if you’re waiting on some new feature, you have to buy your time until Apple chooses to add it. The same is not true of Chrome, where these types of extensions are available to add in just a few minutes.

    Cross Device, OS, & Ecosystem

    In terms of mobile devices, apps for both the iOS operating system and the Safari browser, as well as the mobile version of Google Chrome, have a wide range of text to speech extensions. If a user were to buy an Android app, for example, you can likely use the same subscription across browsers. The same is true of any subscription purchased for your Apple devices, only again you need to remember that things will be far more limited.

    With regard to growth for both browsers, there really is no comparison. As stated, Safari is a very popular web browser, but its use is typically limited to those who have already invested in Apple hardware. While the company is nothing if not successful, they still make up only a fraction of the devices in use out in “the real world.” Chrome, because of its compatibility with just about any mobile device that you might have including iPhones and iPads, has a wider reach that is only expected to increase over time.

    Text-to-Speech Extensions for Google Chrome

    Generally Chrome has a more robust set of extensions given its more open architecture. In terms of text to speech options for Google Chrome, there are well over 50+ options. These extensions have various features & pricing. However, the best TTS option for chrome is Speechify. It offers the best experience, natural sounding, premium, high quality voices with up to 5x reading speed and a host of other features. Try it free, and see.

    Installing a Chrome extension is somewhat simpler, in the sense that you don’t have to open another app. Find and install extensions within your browser that is already open.

    Text-to-Speech Options for Apple Safari

    With regards to Text-to-Speech, Safari does have plenty of options as well. Some unique to Safari and some common apps you would also find in the Chrome Web Store. Installing a Safari extension requires you to open up the App Store app to find and then install.

    Speechify is rated the #1 App in its category in the App Store and is also available for Safari and can be installed here – try it free!

    About Speechify

    Speechify is an app that lets you turn any piece of text-based content into audio, regardless of what type of device you’re using. It has universal compatibility with not just web browsers but with any system you’re using. It ranks very high in every category, including but not limited to Apple’s iOS operating system, the Android operating system and more.

    It even offers compatibility with both Chrome and Safari, making it an ideal solution for people who use multiple types of devices at home.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is there text to speech for Safari?

    Not only are there a variety of viable text to speech options for Apple’s Safari web browser, but they’re a lot easier to utilize than one might think. VoiceOver, for example, is the screen reading technology that is built into every computer running the MacOS operating system. You can access it by clicking the “Apple” button in the top left corner of the screen, navigating to the “System Preferences” window and finally by clicking on the “Accessibility” option. You can also launch it via a keyboard shortcut by pressing the “Command” button and “F5” at the same time.

    The Safari web browser itself has a text to speech function built right in, which you can access via the “Services” menu. Once you’ve navigated to the right screen, you simply have to select “Start Speaking” and it will read everything to you as you browse.

    Does Speechify work in Safari?

    Absolutely. Speechify is a powerful tool that was designed to bring text to speech functionality wherever you are, be it in a web browser or while reading an article, email, document or PDF and everything in between. Speechify lets users listen to text from absolutely anywhere, both in the digital and physical worlds. This includes any content like articles or blog posts that you encounter in Safari.

    Is there a free version of Speechify?

    When you download the Speechify app on your mobile device, you’ll be pleased to know that the experience is free of charge. You can gain access to unlimited reading with playback controls in a matter if seconds. Having said that, if your desire is to access high quality voices that you can also customize by way of different accents and languages, or if you want to capture text from photos and send synced speech to your phone, you’ll need to subscribe to the “Premium” version in order to do so.

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    Tyler Weitzman

    Tyler Weitzman

    Tyler Weitzman is the Co-Founder, Head of Artificial Intelligence & President at Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews. Weitzman is a graduate of Stanford University, where he received a BS in mathematics and a MS in Computer Science in the Artificial Intelligence track. He has been selected by Inc. Magazine as a Top 50 Entrepreneur, and he has been featured in Business Insider, TechCrunch, LifeHacker, CBS, among other publications. Weitzman’s Masters degree research focused on artificial intelligence and text-to-speech, where his final paper was titled: “CloneBot: Personalized Dialogue-Response Predictions.”

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