Lifehacker: How To Get Google Assistant To Read Notifications From Third-Party Apps. “Previously, Google Assistant could only read messages from Android Messages and Google Hangouts aloud — and not very well, either. Now, the sky is the limit: Google Assistant can read your messages from third-party apps such as Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, Telegram, and even Google’s own finicky apps like Google Voice.”
Lifehacker: Use a Text to Voice Reader to Check for Written Mistakes. “When you want to make a good impression in a cover letter or written submission, it’s incredibly frustrating to discover later that you left out a word in the very first sentence. Our brains don’t always catch simple mistakes, so it can’t hurt to enlist a little digital help as well.”
App Advice: Articulu Turns Content From the Web Into Natural Sounding Audio. “After downloading the app, you can see suggested articles in a number of different sections including popular, tech, news business, lifestyle, and more. But easily the best feature is to select any URL and have the app turn into an audio article.” Nice idea. Does have a monthly fee if you want unlimited use.
TechCrunch: Pocket’s reading app won’t sound so robotic now. “Last year, Mozilla made its first acquisition by snatching up Pocket, the Instapaper competitor that helps you save longer articles for later reading. Today, this popular reading app is getting a major update that gives its app a visual makeover, including a new dark mode, and most importantly, a better way to listen to the content you’ve saved.”
TechCrunch: Google updates its speech services for developers. “Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text APIs are getting a bunch of updates today that introduce support for more languages, make it easier to hear auto-generated voices on different speakers and that promise better transcripts thanks to improved tools for speaker recognition, among other things.”
Google Blog: Make Google read it. “We launched Google Go last year as a lightweight, faster way to search the web on devices which may have less space or less reliable internet connections…. Today, we’re launching a new feature which will let everyone using Google Go’s browser listen to webpages out loud. Powered by natural language processing and speech synthesis AI, this technology can read aloud billions of webpages in 28 languages smoothly, and in a natural sounding voice, even on 2G connections. It also uses minimal cellular data.”
The Verge: Google launches more realistic text-to-speech service powered by DeepMind’s AI. “Google is launching a new AI voice synthesizer as part of its suite of machine learning cloud tools. The service, named Cloud Text-to-Speech, will be available for any developer or business that needs voice synthesis on tap, whether that’s for an app, website, or virtual assistant. But what’s particularly interesting about this news is that Cloud Text-to-Speech is powered by WaveNet, software created by Google’s UK-based AI subsidiary DeepMind.”