Speaking Email does not speak - why not?

Q: I can't hear any talking, what's wrong?

A: Volume/Silent

First, check your volume (press the + button to turn volume up). There are several volume settings for different types of apps, so it is easy to think the volume is up if you don't check it within the app itself. Then check the "silent" switch. If the phone is on silent mode it may not speak (depending on device).

Corrupt voices

If you don't hear any speaking, try changing the voice. If you hear the sender and time being spoken but not the email content (or the other way around), this is very likely the problem. Go to Preferences > Voices and choose a different voice. There are two voices you can select - the first one is the Announcer, then English Email Reader. Try choosing different voices and see if that fixes it. We have seen this problem on both iPhone and Android.

Non-Google voices

If you are on Android, it is possible there are no Google voices installed on your phone (depending on your provider, device and customisations). If so, you can download them under system settings. Speaking Email does not work with non-Google voices such as Samsung voices.

Android Speech Output (Text-to-Speech aka TTS)
  • Look under Accessibility > Text-to-speech output. Ensure you have "Google Text to Speech" selected and the correct language. 
  • Note that Speaking Email won't use Samsung or other vendor voices - so you need to enable the Google voices as your default TTS engine.
  • Tap the cog next to Google TTS Engine. 
  • Tap “install voice data”
  • Download the voices in any languages you need. 
  • In Speaking Email go to Preferences > Speech Speed, Voices & Language
  • Speaking Email lists any languages you have voices selected for. Choose one of these or add a language and then choose which voice you prefer. Voice samples are played when you tap so you can tell what they sound like. 
  • For full details on how to set up Android speech settings and other possible issues see https://speaking.email/FAQ/87/android-system-settings-for-speech-and-voice-recognition

Related FAQs



Android Auto


What is Speaking Email?

An app for iPhone and Android that reads your email out loud to you. It intelligently extracts content from emails (minus the signatures, disclaimers and threads). And it lets you action your email - archive, mark-as-read, trash, flag, reply, or forward. It can be completely by voice command, or use the large on-screen buttons or full screen touch gestures.

Who is it for?

People with blindness or visual impairment. People who are busy and run out of time to get through their inbox. People who want to make productive use of time when driving between appointments.

Do you have Apple CarPlay?

See our other product Speaking Email CarPlay.

Find out more

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If you don't think the time you'd save is worth the US$5/month price tag, you can continue to use and it will downgrade to the free basic version after 7 days.