Siri might have become the most popular talking bot for iOS devices in the short while that it has been around, but it is not the only thing on an iPhone which can talk. Nor is it the pinnacle of automated speech, in the opinion of most neutrals. Text2Speech is a Cydia app which might be very different (and somewhat limited in purpose) when compared to Siri, but still it can prove to be a useful addition to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The app performs a fairly simple task. You just input any text in the box provided within the app, and it will be read out loud for you in any of the four available voices. The uniqueness of Text2Speech lies in the fact that you can alter the voices present in the app pretty thoroughly, and the conversion time is pretty decent as well, and the best thing? Text2Speech does not require internet connectivity in order to work!
The text box in the app is available at the top of the main page in Text2Speech, and you can paste or type any text there. The fact that copy paste is supported makes Text2Speech even more useful than it would have been otherwise. The app maintains a complete history of the previous conversions it has carried out, although it is possible to remove all that via the Clear History button. Text2Speech will take a few moments to convert the text to speech, specially if the fragment is considerably large in size. As mentioned before, Text2Speech will work even without an active data connection and that is probably its most useful feature.
Among the 4 voices available in the app, the top 3 are male (named AWB, our favourite Kevin and RMS) while the last one (SLT) is female, although quite different from Siri’s voice. You can change the traits of any voice using the sliders below the main text box. If you feel like you have messed up a voice, there is the Return to Default button in the bottom bar to restore everything back to normal. Text2Speech is available as a free download in the BigBoss repo of the Cydia store, and its ability to work without internet access makes it a must-have for jailbreak users. You can use the Cydia app to listen to large snippets of text by simply pasting them in the text box, while people who want to find out the pronunciation of any word will find Text2Speech really useful as well.