Competitive review of talking email apps

  • A quick comparison of other apps you might think would read your email out loud in a driving safe manner:

    • iPhone Mail (does not speak)
    • Siri (only reads 25 subjects and senders, or your first email, no facility to interact)
    • Gmail (does not speak)
    • OK Google (does not read email)
    • Inbox by Gmail (does not speak - now defunct)
    • Outlook (does not speak)
    • SpeakMail (only reads out attachments, not emails)
    • Listen’N’Drive (only reads out new emails)
    • DriveSafe.ly (no iPhone version, Android and Blackberry only)
    • Read My Email Pro (no iPhone version, Android only)
    • Out Loud app (Android only, speaks only the notification, not the full email content)
    • Reader+ for Gmail (not as fully featured, does not have driving-safe gesture controls or continuous playing)
    • Talkler (gesture recognition not as good, does not skip signatures, only displays text - see * below)
    • Voice Dream Mail (does not skip signatures, does not display emails, does not support Exchange - see ** below)
    • Boomerang (not as fully featured, does not have driving-safe gesture controls or continuous playing) 


    There are a few older apps which were not as full featured as Speaking Email but had some voice email features, and we believe are are no longer supported. If you had one of these, you might consider upgrading to Speaking Email.
    • Voice Brief 
    • Speak It
    • iLane
    • Talk Mail Pro 
    • Astro 


    * Talker was the only other app in the app store that did the same thing when we launched Speaking Email, and we think Speaking Email is better because:

    • Speaking Email reads HTML email whereas Talker reads plain text versions only (and some emails have no plain version)

    • Talker's voice recognition is always on, so it often hears itself or interprets noises like moving the phone as commands

    • Talker keeps listening in the background after you switch away from it

    • Speaking Email can reply as email text but Talkler replies by attaching an MP3. 

    • Speaking Email can play attachments (including attached MP3 files, PDFs and Word docs), but Talkler can't play attachments.

    • Speaking Email's gesture recognition is more reliable (eg swipe to next works better)
       

    ** Voice Dream Mail was new in 2015, and it provides a similar feature set to Speaking Email, but it has some shortcomings including no Exchange support, no email display and no signature detection. As with every other app here you will spend more time listening to email signatures and disclaimers than content.


    But don’t take our word for it, you should try Talker and Voice Dream Mail as well and see which you prefer. They all have free versions to try.