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Google Now Only Offers Standard Voice Models Within The Text-To-Speech App

December 16, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Google is all about improving things. When we see many of the updates that go out to our favorite Google apps chances are there are some darn good improvements hidden within, whether that be in the form of new features and changes, or just simple bug fixes and improvements. Google is also a company that isn’t afraid to remove things, from anywhere, and that includes removing features from applications or functions on Android as well as shutting down services that weren’t really pulling their weight. This time we’re speaking specifically of a feature they have recently taken out of an existing function on Android devices, some voice packs within the text-to-speech function.

With many who have used the text-to-speech functionality over the years, a major pain point(ok maybe not a major pain point but it has been a pain point for some)has been the atrocious voice quality given to the system. It has gotten better over the years and at one point Google even added in the ability to download a high quality voice pack that made things sound more “human-like” when you would use text-to-speech. After the update that was pushed out to the text-to-speech function a few days back, Google actually took out the option to download the high quality voice pack for use with the TTS.

It sounds odd as to why they wouldn’t let you download something that presumably sounds better than the original voice tech used for the feature, and it certainly would be odd if the high quality voice pack still sounded better. According to Google though, the regular voice pack has been improved to the point where it sounds even better than the high quality pack, and there is no longer a need for the additional download since the standard voices are much improved over the high quality voices. When you also factor in that the standard voices were a tiny fraction of the file size, you should begin to understand why Google has made it so that you only have a need for the standard voice inclusion going forward. This is one case where a feature removal should be looked at as a good thing.