Speaky (free for a limited time) is an interesting iOS app with a simple goal: paste in some text or give it a URL, and it will read it to you. Speaky works in the background, so you can be doing something else while a news article, story, or anything you can feed it gets read to you. You can enter multiple website URLs, and then have Speaky read them to you from the list. Speaky is smart enough to not read ads and what it deems text that is not part of the body of the page. Swiping deletes any entry made in the app.
Speaky can auto-sense the language, and you can set the reading rate and the type of Siri voice the app reads in. On my iPhone, set to the usual English language, I had an option of South African, Australian, Irish or British accents, along with standard U.S.
I found the reading pace was a bit fast, so I slowed it down in settings. I gave Speaky some TUAW articles to read, as well as something longer from Google News: all worked fine, with no incidents or problems. Once the article is given to Speaky an Internet connection is not required.
Speaky also supports links from Pocket. Text size is adjustable so you can make it bigger or smaller. You can also paste in any text, or type something you'd like Speaky to read.
This might be nice on a long commute or while you are busy doing something like cleaning the garage or making a meal. Speaky is the kind of functionality that would be nice to see built into iOS. The whole routine of copying and pasting URLs into Speaky is a bit cumbersome, but that's an iOS issue. The app is usually US$2.99, so grab it while it's free and give Speaky a listen.
The app supports many different languages besides English. It requires iOS 7 or greater and it is optimized for the iPhone 5.
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16
Apple iPhone 6s