iOS 16: Voice Dream Reader and Speech Central

iOS 16 is one of the biggest updates yet regarding the text to speech functionality, probably the biggest since iOS 7 when this functionality appeared for the first time.

iOS 16 adds a lot of new voices that you can download for free from the device Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content > Voices. Among those new voices the most notable change is that there is a new tier of called Premium. It is a revolutionary new technology that exceeds quality of any other offline available voice and could be compared only to online voices which were previously available for 140$/year.

However such big changes take time to achieve high level of polish and iOS 16 introduces also some bugs in its text-to-speech. Most notable highlighter feedback appears to be significantly more buggier than before. It was never perfect on iOS and it was always possible that highlighted range doesn’t always match currently spoken word 100%. But now this problem is more frequent and more severe.

Voice Dream Reader is a very good app, how it is severely affected by the changes in iOS 16 in a negative way. One of its biggest selling points was that it sells additional voices that were of somewhat higher quality than those that were built-in in iOS 15. As iOS 16 gives users higher quality voices than those for free, this is not the selling point anymore. However Voice Dream Reader is severely affected by the mentioned bugs in iOS 16 to the level that its developer recommends not to upgrade as in some cases it may lead to unbearable experience.

On the other hand those iOS 16 bugs result only in minor visual issues in Speech Central and upgrade is fully recommended.

To conclude, the difference between Speech Central and Voice Dream Reader is that only Speech Central can work with new Apple’s iOS 16 Premium quality voices and as such it offers significantly better voice quality.