How-to: Have your iOS device read text for you

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iOS devices are built with all users in mind: they come with several accessibility features for low-vision or legally blind users, settings for hard-of-hearing or deaf users, settings for individuals who have physical and motor difficulties, and settings for individuals with learning difficulties.

In this accessibility segment, I will be discussing how to make text speakable on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch:

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Chrome for iOS adds support for opening links in Google apps, voice & text-to-speech enhancements, fullscreen iPad, & data cost savings

Image (1) chrome-a_512.png for post 72530Google has just issued a big update to its Chrome app for iPhone and iPad that brings new “interoperability with other Google Apps” and a number of other notable features. That means that you’ll now be able to open all links for YouTube, Maps, Google+ and Drive in their native apps instead of in the browser. You’ll also now be able to access the apps with a single tap from within Chrome.

The update also brings enhancements to the newly introduced voice search capabilities, including: always visible controls from the toolbar and text-to-speech support for “all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.”

Other improvements in today’s update include fullscreen support on iPad, easier access to browser history, and, according to Google, data cost savings:

Reduce data usage and speed up page load times. View data savings in Bandwidth Management settings. This feature is being rolled out and will be available to all users over time.

Google explained the experimental data cost savings feature in a whitepaper when it was first introduced on Android. In the document, Google says its tests showed the feature can reduce data usage by up to 50%: Read more

New for app developers in iOS 7: text to speech, motion effects, background downloads, free in-app purchases, more

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We’ve reported on a number of big improvements coming to iOS 7 for both app developers and accessory manufacturers already. Yesterday we reported first on the new blinking and smiling detection features available to camera and photo app developers, and earlier this month told you about some of the new Bluetooth related APIs coming this fall.

We previously walked you through some of the new APIs and features for gamers, but there is still a lot more coming to third-party app developers in iOS 7. A few big improvements: a text to speech API, background downloads for in-app content, motion effects, 3D maps, and much more.

Head below for details on some of the more notable new APIs available for developers to take advantage of in iOS 7: Read more

Tip: Bring Siri’s voice to your Mac with Samantha downloadable Voice for Lion

Since the introduction of Nuance speech technology in OS X Lion, which provides several new voice options in system preferences for the System Voice, many have compared the voice of Nuance-powered Siri on iPhone 4S to the improved text-to-speech included as free downloads within Lion. As noted by Reddit user Moosehadley, what you might not have realized is the downloadable “Samantha” voice for Lion is the same as Siri’s in the United States. Here is how to download it:

Open System Preferences> Speech> Text to Speech>System Voice> Customize> and select “Samantha” from the list. Apple will ask you to confirm the 469MB install.

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