I’ve been driving a lot lately, and have been wanting to listen to ebooks on my iPHone as I do so. It’s fairly simple to turn on VoiceOver and have what sounds like Siri read my books to me, but honestly? She’s a terrible narrator. The VoiceOver voice is heavily robotic, and it’s difficult to understand what’s being read to me most of the time, so I end up giving up or contemplating purchasing an audiobook from iTunes.
But I’d really like to just continue the ebooks I already have on my iPhone while I’m driving. That way I can listen to them while in the car, but actually read them when I’m not. NaturalReader just might be part of the solution I’ve been looking for, so I figured I’d share it here with you.
Download the free Natural Reader app from the App Store, and open it with a tap on your iPhone. There’s a welcome file that you can have your iPhone read to you in order to hear the default voice. Tap the Play triangle in the lower left corner of the screen to listen in. You’ll find out that NaturalReader has over 30 voices in 5 languages, so you can try them all out in your language of choice to see which sounds the best to your ear. Tap on the gear icon in the upper right hand corner to change voices and language settings.
Once you’ve chosen a voice that sounds most intelligible, you can start loading other text documents in from a variety of sources, including Dropbox or the web. Tap on the little three-line icon in the upper left of the main NaturalReader screen, then tap Dropbox. Tap Allow when NaturalReader wants access to Dropbox, and then you’ll see your Dropbox files, ready to be read to you. NaturalReader will read RTF, PDF, Word documents, and more right from your Dropbox. Slick.
To load ebooks and other files, you can connect your iPhone via iTunes and add any documents from your Mac to NaturalReader to have it ready for later reading. For eBooks, you’ll need to find some that art HTML or PDF-based, and add them to Dropbox or iTunes. Now, if only NaturalReader would let me read my Nook or iBooks, I’d be super happy.