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Google brings Android's text-to-speech engine to Google Play as a standalone download

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Android 4.0 welcome robot (STOCK)
Android 4.0 welcome robot (STOCK)

Google puts a tremendous amount of work into its voice-synthesis technology, but that effort frequently goes for naught; the company's text-to-speech engine sometimes isn't even included on Android devices from Samsung and other key manufacturers. Thankfully Mountain View has figured out a way to solve that. It's brought Google Text-to-Speech to Google Play as a standalone app, so regardless of what device you own you can now choose to hear the familiar female voice.

If you're unfamiliar as to where the voice engine is used, it powers the "Read Aloud" feature of Google Play Books. It also speaks translations in Google Translate and is used throughout Android for accessibility purposes. It's not a groundbreaking move, but if you're tired of the awkward robotic voice implanted in Android by another OEM, Google's proper alternative is finally available.