I have a Samsung Galaxy Core LTE G386W running Android 4.4.2. Using Google Drive I have a Google Doc open. How can I have the text read out loud to me, say while I am walking. Can you suggest an app? By the way, this is apparently built-in to Android, but I can't find instructions or make it work.

I would also like have "read aloud" a PDF file or a web page, but my priority is a Google Doc)

  • You've probably mis-interpreted my corresponding comment: Yes, there's a feature called "TalkBack screen reader" – but that's not reading-aloud what's printed there, but rather feedback on what you've touched. So no, it's AFAIK not built into Android. // Some talking PDF readers are in my app lists btw. But I'm not aware of such for Google Drive.
    – Izzy
    Apr 17, 2015 at 14:55
  • 1
    BTW: Did you check out Google Text-to-Speech? App description sounds as if it would work for every app: Google Text-to-speech powers applications to read the text on your screen aloud. Also worth checking: 8 Great Apps to Voice Read Text on iOS and Android: NaturalReader lets you listen to ebooks, webpages and PDFs imported for cloud servies like Dropbox, Google Drive or just your local storage, sounds like what you're after.
    – Izzy
    Apr 17, 2015 at 15:05

3 Answers 3


I built Intelligent Speaker - browser extension. You can add your text on the desktop computer and listen to it through the phone later - we have personal podcast feeds.

Intelligent Speaker


This app is both on Android and ios. I have been using it for a couple years. You just need to make sure your PDFs or text is OCR (Ocular Character Recognition), that means no kindle locked books.


  • Open Google Books (or any other reading app)
  • open the text page you'd like to heave read to you
  • make a pinch gesture "Zoom out" (make a "V" with pointing finger and middle finger and move them together)
  • some menus appear: at the bottom of the page, a progressbar and more importantly at the top right corner a lookingglass icon, an "Aa" icon and a "..." aligned vertically.
  • Click/touch the "..."
  • Click "Read aloud" (in German it's "Vorlesen")

Then the computer will read the text to you in the language you've specified in the "Text-to-Speech" settings.

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