The Text-to-speech app doesn't see many major updates throughout the year, but when it does, there's often something interesting to see when it happens. Version 3.10 began rolling out yesterday and it comes bearing a pair of new settings to intelligently alter volume based on existing audio playback and to control the intonation of synthesized voices. As always, we've got a link below to grab the latest apk if you aren't among the first to get it straight from Google.
The new settings are named Amplify speech volume and Intonation. The first will tell the text-to-speech app to detect the volume of any audio playing currently playing on a device and elevate its own volume to be louder. The point of this feature is to make it easier to hear audio prompts and responses over any other sound effects and music.
The second setting, Intonation, modifies the degree of emphasis and personality used in the generated voices. It's a dropdown list with the options: expressive, somewhat expressive, and flat. The default setting is already at expressive. I've tried changing the setting and it's certainly striking to hear the anything other than the fully expressive level. The flat level is so entirely robotic and lifeless that it becomes a bit unnerving. I'm not sure if anybody will want to change this setting, but it is there if you're interested.
These settings can be found under Language & input –> Text-to-speech output –> tap on the gear icon or the line titled Google Text-to-speech Engine –> Settings for Google Text-to-speech Engine. Some phones may relocate Text-to-speech output to a different place, but it should be easy enough to find by searching for it.
That's all we've seen so far from this update, but if anything else turns up, let us know in the comments.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.