Friends Aloud: New app reads your Facebook comments out loud to you


Fed up having to read your Facebook messages? Would you prefer it if they were whispered in your ear by the pleasant voice of a young woman?

There’s an app for that. Friends Aloud is an app for iPhone that will read out your news feed posts and comments to you, saving you the hassle of pulling your phone out and looking at it. It can read out as much or as little as you like..

Designed for those occasions when it’s inconvenient to look at your phone it could also help people with vision problems:
“You can now stay in touch with your Facebook friends while safely driving, walking, exercising – anywhere your eyes are otherwise occupied,” said Dr. Robert B. Wesson, CEO of development company Voizapp – “Friends Aloud also gives the visually-impaired and elderly an audible window into their friends’ and families’ lives.”

So far there only seems to be one voice for the app – a “pleasant, easy-to-understand young woman’s voice”. But we hope that – like with the Tom-Tom – there will be a range of voices to choose from, maybe celebrities will lend their voice to this app and you’ll be able to hear about your friend’s Sarah’s Saturday night in the voice of Snoop Dogg or Tom Cruise. Just a thought.

They claim their text-to-voice technology is state of the art. We can say for sure that text to voice always works much better than tech which goes the other way and turns people’s speech into written words – speech recognition is still pretty bad.

Voizapp describes what the app can do:

* Read aloud their latest Facebook news feed posts and their associated comments in a pleasant, easy-to-understand young woman’s voice
* Scroll through each post on screen or tap around to read posts at random
* Automatically switch between reading existing posts in sequence or just reading new posts as they arrive for as long as desired
* Play, pause, and skip forward/back using intuitive controls, just like the iPod
* Continue reading aloud while in the background, just like the iPod
* Understand and read common computer jargon such as smiley faces and texting-style abbreviations (LOL, ROTFLMAO, happy/sad faces, etc.)
* Choose to limit the number of comments read aloud

Nice idea huh?
The free version is ad-supported, while the ad-free Pro version is $2.99.

Anna Leach

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