nuance lion voices
Last month, we noted that Apple had integrated a number of new text-to-speech voices from Nuance in OS X Lion. While the voices themselves were not yet able to be installed in the Lion developer preview, samples available online demonstrated the significantly improved quality over existing voice options in Snow Leopard.

Several users working with the latest OS X Lion developer preview version released earlier this week following the WWDC keynote have reported, however, that the voices can now be installed.

Apple has been reported to have been working on a deal with Nuance to include some of the company's speech recognition technology in iOS 5 and in its new North Carolina data center. And while no Nuance-related announcements were made at WWDC earlier this week, sources have indicated that such integration may still be coming.

Apple and Nuance have a bit of an existing relationship via Siri, a company focused on virtual personal assistant software that was acquired by Apple last year. That application has been powered by Nuance technology, and integration of Nuance voices into Lion may signal an increased collaboration between the two companies.

Update: As reported by Netputing, the voices became active several weeks ago, although many users are apparently just now noticing the change as they test out the latest build. (Thanks, Seth!)

Top Rated Comments

lazyrighteye Avatar
134 months ago
I've never really been sold on the usefulness of text-to-speech functionality. What are scenarios where it would bring some advantage? Maybe I just havent seen it implemented in a good way.
I'm a new father. So now on weekends, my hands (and eyes) are pretty tied up with lil' man. Where I used to sit and read on those mornings, I now use TTS to read to me whilst my hands/eyes are needed elsewhere. And it's actually pretty nice. Completely usable. Sure, improved voices (more natural?) are welcomed. But overall, I find it an effective use of TTS.

Curious to hear others' uses...

I have used it to proof read documents to me, it is really quite a good way to spot mistakes or odd turns of phrase.
Hmm, interesting. :)


Thanks, Doc, for the merge.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xUKHCx Avatar
134 months ago
I've never really been sold on the usefulness of text-to-speech functionality. What are scenarios where it would bring some advantage? Maybe I just havent seen it implemented in a good way.

I have used it to proof read documents to me, it is really quite a good way to spot mistakes or odd turns of phrase.

Also very useful for those with limited eyesight.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Makosuke Avatar
134 months ago
I've never really been sold on the usefulness of text-to-speech functionality. What are scenarios where it would bring some advantage? Maybe I just havent seen it implemented in a good way.
I have a throat disorder and couldn't speak for about a year and a half, during which time my MBP and the built-in text-to-speech doing a Stephen Hawking impression was the only way I could functionally communicate without someone looking over my shoulder and reading what I was typing, which doesn't work at all with a group of people. I only wish these voices had been built-in at the time; I didn't have the money to pay for the better voices, and that was before even the current best built-in voices, so I really did sound like Stephen Hawking.

And then of course there's the famous scientist himself, who has been relying on the same technology to communicate with the world for years.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zeemeerman2 Avatar
134 months ago
The only thing I ask is to put GLaDOS as an option for a Text-to-Speech voice.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
134 months ago
First, I think the reason we didn't see more speech stuff in the keynote is because those features of iOS 5 won't be available on current hardware.

So, can I use the German voices to speak English with an accent? That would be awesome!

As to the debate about the value of text-to-speech, I think people are too caught up in the "text" part-- this isn't about selecting a bunch of text and choosing "speak selection". That ability is critically important as an assistive technology, but there are many other uses that the majority of users could reap from this that require better voices to make tolerable.

Nagromme had a good list, but it has the potential to change how we interact with our devices. I'd like my computers to be able to tell me who an incoming email is from so I don't need to go and look. It would be nice if my computer could nicely remind me of an upcoming appointment. There are a number of applications I'd like to be able to interact with by voice, ranging from iTunes, to home automation, to office applications.

Most of this requires both speech recognition and voice feedback, and one of the main reasons I don't even try the existing voice capabilities is that I find the computer voices really unpleasant to listen to. Apple needs to make improvements on both ends of the system in my opinion.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Solowalker Avatar
134 months ago
There's also the Service that can send text as speech to iTunes as a track (not on my Mac so I can't give the exact verbiage or screenshot). This can make all kinds of uses such as those mentioned already even more useful because you can sync them to your iDevice and not need your Mac to play them. Especially useful for making your own audiobook or new program.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
Top Stories 74 Thumbnail

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Nears Launch, Larger Apple Watch?, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Rumors

Saturday August 28, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
August is rapidly drawing to close, which means Apple's annual iPhone launch event is right around the corner. iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 rumors are continuing to circulate, and we're also hearing about Mac updates likely coming a bit later. Apple is also finishing up work on its upcoming software updates like iOS 15, with some late-addition features starting to go live in beta while ...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...