Sunday, April 28, 2013

Android eReader apps to read eBooks to you with Text-to-Speech

Compared to official reading apps such as Nook or Kindle, 3rd party reading apps are also very popular as they offer a better way to support personal books and mostly come with richer features and more customized settings. Here are a couple of Android reading apps with Text-to-Speech feature, which enables readers to listen to eBooks when they are tired with reading or read on the go.

1. FBReader

Price: free
Supported Formats: EPUB, RTF, FB2(.ZIP), MOBI, and plain TEXT
Requires Android: Varies with device

FBReader is the first android eReader I would recommend to you. It provides versatile features as well as 5 language-supported (English, French, Spanish, German and Itanian) Text-to-Speech (TTS) function. Free yet no ads. Note that both the TTS module and dictionary module have to be downloaded separately (free). Refer to this guide to read and listen to Kindle books on Android (Nexus 7)

2. Cool Reader

Price: free
Supported Formats: EPUB (NON-DRM), FB2, DOC, TXT, RTF, HTML, CHM, TCR, PDB, PRC, MOBI and PML
Requires Android: 1.5 and up

Cool Reader is another free reading app delivering excellent reading experience. No ads. Every icon is elaborately designed, integrated but easy-to-use. Tap the “More” icon then “Read Aloud” to start the built-in TTS module. Users are able to set the speech volume and rate. This app itself is very nice but the interface of TTS appears a bit rough and only supports English.

3. Moon + Reader Pro

Price: $4.99
Supported Formats: EPUB, PDF, MOBI, CHM, CBR, CBZ, UMD, FB2, TXT, HTML, RAR, ZIP and OPDS formats
Requires Android: 2.2 and up

The TTS function only works on the paid version. It does well in highlighting & noting and has a strong ability to deal with PDF files. It might not stand out at first sight but offers a collection of minor yet useful features such as a combination of dropbox. The TTS function only supports English, but works nice with flexible control available.

4. Mantano Ebook ReaderPremium

Price: $6.99
Supported Formats: EPUB (Adobe DRM supported), PDF (Adobe DRM supported)
Requires Android: 2.3 and up

I fell in love with this app when I used it the first time. It has a very nice UI and supports Adobe DRM encrypted EPUB and PDF books very well. Similar to Moon + Reader Pro, Mantano shows a good performance to cope with PDF files. The TTS function is just placed on the bottom menu bar and easy to access. Refer to this post to listen to eBooks with Mantano.

The speech generated by Text-to-Speech engine is dull and robotic. If you listen to books a lot, buying audio books will be a better option.