The Google app does what feels like everything under the sun, from listing off shipping information on packages and showing you flight times, to feeding you results on searches and displaying weather information as well as relevant news stories. Part of the Google app is the text to speech voice which plays when you ask questions that will have an audio response as opposed to a list of written results from Google Search. In earlier versions of Google’s TTS engine the voice sounded quite a bit more robotic than it does now, but more than sounding closer to a human voice Google also has TTS engines in other languages, and today they have introduced their new Australian TTS voice complete with accent.
To demonstrate how the voice works and show off its relevancy, Google created a short but sweet YouTube video that has the TTS voice go through a snippet of the song “I’ve Been Everywhere.” Just by listening to the portion of the song that’s sang, it isn’t hard to imagine how far along the TTS engine has come along, as it’s able to pronounce quite a few difficult sounding words of locations that are mentioned in the song.
In addition to flexing its new skills to pronounce words in a different dialect particularly well, Google’s TTS voice has been much improved over the years even in the North American English accent. It’s these advancements which prompted Google to eventually remove the capability to download high-quality voice packs for the TTS engine back in 2014, because they were no longer needed. As Google expands the Google app and continues to improve upon it, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them introduce even more particularly challenging dialects in other parts of the world. Aside from text to speech improvements, the Google app has had plenty of other additions too, like new weather features, the ability to access a bubble level, and for marshmallow users, the ability to capture and share screenshots with other users. All of this technology does well to display that the Google app and the many parts that make up its entirety are a far cry from what they were a few years ago.