One morning, I walked into a random presentation at WWDC. I didn’t know what it was about, but I was on autopilot and determined not to miss one session. It turned out to be Accessibility - not something I tend to think about as evidenced by my apps - but what else is a conference for but to break your habits?
Great information was presented, but one announcement jumped out at me and made my heart skip a beat: developers could now access the voice synthesizer. Even though iOS has been capable of synthesis and dictation for years, Apple has refused developers access to these features. Until now. Siri, we promise to be kind.
This was the iOS 7 WWDC and everyone’s minds were filled with hairlines, supersaturating blurs, and bouncing - all sorts of bouncing. I too wanted to make a pretty iOS 7 app and set to work on my weekend app. A weekend turned into 5 months (thanks Calca!) but I am happy to announce that I finished it:
The app takes ePubs and turns them into audio books using iOS’s various voices.
It highlights words as they’re spoken so you can follow along or day dream a bit without getting lost.
You have the familiar controls of Play/Pause, skip forward and back a paragraph, scrubbing through time, and jumping to chapters.
It is fully background audio compliant so you can control it from your headphones or car stereo.
You can control the reading speed from 50 words per minute up to a breathtaking 600 wpm.
You can even control the region that narrator is from. Do you prefer your books read to you in an Irish accent? Or how about a German?
And it’s pink.
Audio Tales has been a pet project of mine for so long now. I’ve listened to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so many times that the stupid Queen still haunts my dreams. But, none the less, I’m really thrilled that it’s available to everyone now.