Skip to content

Letting Your App Speak Up: Implementing Text-to-Speech with AVSpeechSynthesizer on iOS

iOS, Text-to-Speech, AVSpeechSynthesizer, Swift, Accessibility1 min read

Imagine your app coming alive and guiding users through its features with a friendly voice. Text-to-Speech (TTS) functionality can transform your iOS app into a more interactive and accessible experience. This article explores how to implement TTS using Apple's AVSpeechSynthesizer framework.

Under the Hood of AVSpeechSynthesizer

At the heart of iOS TTS lies AVSpeechSynthesizer. This class acts as the engine, converting text into spoken audio. It works alongside another key player, AVSpeechUtterance. This class represents a specific spoken phrase, allowing you to define the text content and customize its delivery with properties like pitch, and rate.

Getting Started: Setting Up Your Project

To begin your TTS journey, you'll need to import the AVFoundation framework into your project. This framework provides the necessary building blocks for audio functionalities.

Crafting the Utterance: The Words to be Spoken

Here's where the magic happens:

  1. Create an AVSpeechUtterance instance:
1let utterance = AVSpeechUtterance(string: "This is the text your app will speak.")
  1. (Optional) Customize the Utterance:
  • Rate: Adjust the speaking speed from slow to fast.
1utterance.rate = AVSpeechUtteranceMinimumSpeechRate // Slow speaking rate
  • Pitch: Control the highness or lowness of the voice.
1utterance.pitch = 1.0 // Default pitch

Making Your App Speak: The Power of AVSpeechSynthesizer

Now that you have a finely crafted utterance, it's time to give it life:

  1. Initialize an AVSpeechSynthesizer instance:
1let synthesizer = AVSpeechSynthesizer()
  1. Speak the Utterance:

This line tells the synthesizer to process the utterance and convert it into spoken audio.

Checking Speech Status

Before attempting to speak a new utterance, you can check if the synthesizer is already busy using the isSpeaking property:

1if !synthesizer.isSpeaking {
2 // Speak the utterance only if the synthesizer is available
3 synthesizer.speak(utterance)

This helps to prevent overlapping speech or unexpected behavior.

Beyond the Basics: Adding Polish

  • Delegate for Monitoring: Implement the AVSpeechSynthesizerDelegate protocol to receive callbacks during the speech process, allowing you to monitor events like speech start and completion.

  • Audio Session Management: Configure an appropriate audio session category (e.g., playback) to ensure smooth audio delivery without interruptions from other apps.

Speak Up and Enhance Your App

By incorporating AVSpeechSynthesizer, you can empower your iOS app to speak volumes. From providing spoken instructions to enhancing accessibility for visually impaired users, TTS opens doors to a richer and more interactive user experience.

Remember: This article provides a foundational overview. For a deeper dive, explore Apple's official documentation on AVSpeechSynthesizer and AVSpeechUtterance for further details and advanced functionalities. As always, Happy coding!