The Landscape of Text-to-Speech Voices on iPhone: Acapela, CereProc, IVONA, and Beyond

The Dawn of a New Era with iOS 16: Unlocking Third-Party Voices

Until the release of iOS 16, it was a technical impossibility for developers to distribute apps that offer third-party text-to-speech voices on iPhones. This constraint left many yearning for the rich vocal textures of popular names like Acapela, CereProc, and IVONA.

High Expectations Meet Reality: Where Are Acapela and CereProc?

With iOS 16 breaking down the barriers, there was considerable anticipation for Acapela and CereProc voices to become available on the App Store. After all, these voices are already a hit on Google Play. Surprisingly, a year has passed since iOS 16’s release, and there is still no sign of either company making their voices available for iPhone users.

UPDATE: CereProc did release their app on iOS, though it is still in sort of testing as the version is below 1.0 and stability/performance aren’t perfect. They are available on the App Store.

The eSpeak Exception: Versatility Over Quality

Currently, eSpeak stands alone as the only app providing alternative text-to-speech voices for the iPhone. While eSpeak offers versatility, especially for less commonly spoken languages, its voices are often criticized for their lower quality compared to competitors like Acapela and CereProc.

The IVONA-Amazon Acquisition: A Turn Towards Cloud-Based Solutions

IVONA voices have a unique case; they’ve been acquired by Amazon and their development has ceased, funneling focus towards cloud-based solutions like Amazon Polly. As such, the prospects of hearing IVONA voices on your iPhone are slim to none.

Uncertainty Lingers: The Future of Acapela and CereProc Voices on iPhone

The year-long absence of Acapela and CereProc voices on the iOS platform raises questions. Could they appear in the future or will they remain absent? Only time will tell, but the door is certainly still open for them to join the iOS ecosystem.

Apple’s Premium Voices: A High-Quality Alternative

Meanwhile, Apple has introduced a new “Premium” tier for their built-in text-to-speech voices with iOS 16. These high-quality voices are not installed by default, so many users might overlook them. However, they offer a level of quality that rivals, or even surpasses, Acapela voices.

Voice Streaming: A Costly but Quality Solution

Another alternative that’s making its mark is voice streaming from servers. Though this provides a superior vocal quality, it comes at a steep price, often exceeding $100/year. An exception to this is Speech Central, which has ingeniously found a way to offer voice streaming at no additional cost to the user, albeit within the limitations of free tiers offered by streaming services.

Navigating the Dynamic Terrain of iPhone Text-to-Speech Options

For now, users eager for a richer text-to-speech experience on their iPhones will have to consider alternatives. While we await the uncertain future of Acapela and CereProc on iOS, options like Apple’s Premium voices and innovative solutions like Speech Central offer a glimpse of what’s possible.

Stay tuned to this evolving narrative as we continue to bring you the latest updates in the world of iPhone text-to-speech technologies.