Google Now's Text-to-Speech Gets a More Human Sounding Voice Update

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
Staff member
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
3,961
Location
Austin, TX
Ok-Google-Voice-Search.jpg

For the longest time, Google Now voice search has been superior in capability to Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Amazon's Alexa; however, there is one area where all three of those have Google Now voice search beat. The sound of the voice in Google Now is artificial, whereas Siri, Cortana and Alexa all have a more natural sounding and human-like voice response. Google has apparently changed that.

It looks like Google's latest update to Google Now gives it a vastly improved voice that sounds like an actual person instead of a stilted computer mimic. So far, the only change will be to the U.S. English version. There is no information when/if any of the other languages will get a similar update.

Another thing that is interesting about this "update" is that it must be server-side, because the Google Play Store does NOT include a new update for the app. If you don't have this change already on your Android device, you can manually switch to it by going to Settings > Language and input > Text-to-Speech output > Settings (the gear icon) > Language and choose English (United States) instead of Use system language.

We found a video below that gives a demonstration of both voices as a comparison.
 

PereDroid

Diamond Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
5,908
Reaction score
3,681
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Current Phone Model
Moto Turbo 2
A) I never had a problem with 'her' voice
B) No new voice for me yet. :(
/EDIT/
Listened to the video. It's better.
 

Sajo

Diamond Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
20,669
Reaction score
16,788
Location
Tennessee
Current Phone Model
Pixel 7 Pro
It does sound a little better. I just checked the English option and Unchecked update over WiFi only, hopefully the new voice will update soon.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

PereDroid

Diamond Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
5,908
Reaction score
3,681
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Current Phone Model
Moto Turbo 2
I tried UK English to see if she had an accent. No. :(

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

Jonny Kansas

Administrator
Staff member
Rescue Squad
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
16,740
Reaction score
7,355
Location
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Website
www.google.com
Current Phone Model
Pixel XL
Twitter
jonny_ks
Is it strictly Google Now? Because I just got an update for Google text-to-speech...

I tried UK English to see if she had an accent. No. :(

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
Are you sure you're doing it right? She had an accent the last time I tried it. I prefer for her to be British (or Australian), but I've had trouble getting phones to actually use the voices with accents. When you play the preview, it's there, but then when you navigate or something, it's American.
 

wicked

Administrator
Staff member
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
5,279
Reaction score
1,517
Location
San Jose, CA
Current Phone Model
Pixel 3 XL
Twitter
@MikeAlvez
No update here yet.
 

Sajo

Diamond Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
20,669
Reaction score
16,788
Location
Tennessee
Current Phone Model
Pixel 7 Pro
I noticed that when I go into the Settings for Install Voice Data > English US there is no download arrow like there is for other languages. Maybe thats normal, but also maybe why we are not hearing the new voice? Will it download automatically if the Auto Update option is checked?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

Sajo

Diamond Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
20,669
Reaction score
16,788
Location
Tennessee
Current Phone Model
Pixel 7 Pro
I should be a millionaire by now also.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

johnomaz

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
3,187
Reaction score
633
Location
Central Valley, California
Current Phone Model
Google Pixel 2XL
I've always had issues with text to speech getting some rather complex words pronounced correctly but simple/common words pronounced wrong.
 

Mustang02

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
7,533
Reaction score
5,018
Location
Ohio
Current Phone Model
Nexus 6P/5X
No update here.

Lots of words make my GPS voice stumble, I laugh.
 

Jonny Kansas

Administrator
Staff member
Rescue Squad
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
16,740
Reaction score
7,355
Location
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Website
www.google.com
Current Phone Model
Pixel XL
Twitter
jonny_ks
Tell me about it. This area is such a melting pot. There are towns and streets named from Native American, Swedish, French, English, and God knows what other languages all cobbled together. Not to mention folks here pronounce a majority of the stranger ones in a way that you'd never guess by reading it anyway...
 
OP
dgstorm

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
Staff member
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
3,961
Location
Austin, TX
Sorry my post didn't seem to make it clear folks. It's not an update to the app. It's a server-side update, and it is probably already on your phone. You just need to follow the instructions I added in the story: Settings > Language and input > Text-to-Speech output > Settings (the gear icon) > Language and choose English (United States) instead of Use system language.

Of course, it's possible that if you aren't on a Nexus device, you may not have the option that is different, so YMMV.
 
Top