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
131 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
131 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
131 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
131 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
131 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
131 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

EEC Apple iphone 13

Apple Registers iPhone 13 Models in Eurasia Ahead of September Launch

Friday June 11, 2021 2:16 am PDT by
Nashville Chatter Class has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing in the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database pointing towards several unreleased iPhone 13 models that Apple will be launching in the fall. Versions of iPhone running iOS 14 are listed with the model numbers A2628, A2630, A2634, A2635, A2640, A2643, and A2645. None of the numbers correspond to Apple's...
ios 15 home screen icons

iOS 15 Lets You Drag and Drop Images and Text Across Apps

Saturday June 12, 2021 3:17 pm PDT by
Apple this week previewed iOS 15, which is available now in beta for developers ahead of a public release later this year. One smaller but useful new feature added is the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and more across apps on iPhone. MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci demonstrated the new feature in a tweet: Using cross-app drag and drop on iPhone in iOS 15. Finally 🎉 #WW ...
ipad mini 6

Next iPad Mini Will Allegedly Feature Thinner Bezels, USB-C Port, and Touch ID Power Button

Friday June 11, 2021 1:13 pm PDT by
On his newly launched Front Page Tech website, leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders showing off the alleged design of the next-generation iPad mini, which he says are based on schematics, CAD files, and real images of the device. In line with details shared earlier this month by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Prosser claims that the new iPad mini will feature slimmer bezels around...
iphone12protriplelenscamera

Apple's Orders for Key iPhone 13 Camera Component Expected to Outstrip Entire Android Market

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:47 am PDT by
Major camera upgrades coming to the iPhone 13 series are putting increased pressure on suppliers to meet Apple's demand for key lens components, according to a new DigiTimes report. Apple has reportedly put Taiwan-based makers of voice coil motor (VCM) components on notice to increase their capacity by 30-40% in order to meet the company's demand, which is expected to outstrip the entire...
apple virtual game controller ios 15

Apple Makes New On-Screen Game Controller Available to Developers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Saturday June 12, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
During the Platforms State of the Union at WWDC this week, Apple unveiled a new API for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that enables developers to implement an on-screen virtual game controller in their iPhone and iPad games with just a few lines of code. While many iPhone and iPad games already offer on-screen controls, Apple's new virtual game controller is available to all developers, easy to add,...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

macOS Monterey Tidbits: Animated Memoji on Login Screen, Change the Color of the Mouse Pointer, and More

Friday June 11, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
We've highlighted several new features coming in macOS Monterey, such as Low Power Mode and the option to erase a Mac without reinstalling the operating system, but there are some smaller tidbits that we wanted to share. Animated Memoji on Login Screen One small but fun new feature in macOS Monterey is the addition of a personalized Memoji on the login screen, complete with animated facial...
mr white ipod touch 5 protoype3

Unreleased iPod Touch 5 With Chamfered Edges and 30-Pin Dock Connector Shared Online

Thursday June 10, 2021 2:05 am PDT by
Occasional leaker Mr White has today shared interesting images on Twitter of what appears to be an old-school fifth-generation iPod touch prototype with chamfered edges and a brushed aluminum finish. The original iPod touch 5 that Apple released in October 2012 had a unibody anodized aluminum chassis with rounded edges, and was available in several colors, including slate. Another...
maxresdefault

Apple Promotes iPad Pro in New Ad With 'The Little Mermaid' Musical Spin

Saturday June 12, 2021 7:01 am PDT by
In a currently unlisted ad on YouTube, Apple is promoting the versatility, portability, and power of the M1 iPad Pro in a fun musical inspired by The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" soundtrack. In the ad, which features the main character using an M1 iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil, multiple users can be seen struggling with their old PCs indoors while hoping that they can...
passwords system preferences

macOS Monterey Features Dedicated Password Section in System Preferences, Built-In Authenticator and More

Friday June 11, 2021 2:32 pm PDT by
macOS Monterey makes several improvements to password management, positioning iCloud Keychain as an ideal password service to replace third-party services like Lastpass and 1Password. In System Preferences, there's a new "Passwords" section that houses all of your iCloud Keychain logins and passwords so they're easier to get to, edit, and manage. There's a similar Passwords section that's...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky iOS App, Website, and API Now Scheduled to Remain Available Until End of 2022

Thursday June 10, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Last year, Apple acquired the weather app Dark Sky, and shortly after its purchase, Apple shut down the app for Android. Despite the revamped iOS 15 Weather app taking heavy inspiration from Dark Sky, the weather's app standalone iOS app, web app, and API will remain available until the end of next year, compared to the end of this year, as previously planned. Dark Sky announced in an update ...