Text to Speech (TTS) integration via Read Out! (TTS) on BlackBerry 10

Sometimes you like to listen to stuff instead of reading it yourself. In some situations this can became very handy. It’s the same for users of your app(s) as well. For that reason it could be a good fit to integrate a working text to speech (TTS) solution to your apps.

Read Out! (TTS) is probably one of the most popular and complete TTS apps available for BlackBerry 10. I’ve developed the app by myself back in July 2015 and since then provided some updates.

As I started the development of Read Out! (TTS), it wasn’t even been meant to be a separate app. At the beginning it was part of a ReadItNow! beta. In my previous blog post I already mentioned what ReadItNow! is, a native BlackBerry 10 client for the popular “read later” service Pocket. Because some users wanted to listen to articles, stored in ReadItNow!, rather than reading them, I’ve added a 3rd party app more than a year ago. Sadly that app had some limitations with large articles and the developer didn’t want to fix that issues. So I had a look at all available text to speech apps in the BlackBerry World. I couldn’t find anyone, that fitted with my needs. For that reason I decided to try it on my own… After some developing I was really happy with the result and I decided it was far better than everything else I’ve seen in the BlackBerry Word. So I extracted the working code from the ReadItNow! beta and put together a single app with only one purpose: bring TTS to a lot of apps! I simply don’t wanted to limit the usage to ReadItNow! as I thought other apps could benefit from this solution as well.

As a developer, you can invoke Read Out! (TTS) in three different ways:

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Pocket integration via ReadItNow! on BlackBerry 10

Sometimes you don’t have the time to read everything as soon as you  discover it. It’s the same for users of your apps as well. For that reason it could be a good fit to add Pocket integration to your apps. For those of you who don’t know what Pocket is, it’s a so called “read it later” service, available cross platform for multiple devices. Pocket enables you to save everything you want to read for later, and access it on multiple devices and platforms. For more informations please have a look at GetPocket.com.

Pocket itself doesn’t offer a native BlackBerry 10 app. You can sideload the official android app, but that version does not integrate well with the BlackBerry 10 user interface and flow. But Pocket has a public API. ReadItNow! is probably the most popular and complete Pocket app for BlackBerry 10. It has been developed by myself over the past few years and it get’s continually updates. I’ve designed the app to be invoked by other BlackBerry 10 apps. For that reason it doesn’t need much effort at all, to integrate Pocket support for your own BlackBerry 10 app.

I’ve put together a few sniplets to show you how to integrate it with C++ and QML. It’s really easy, you will see.

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