Eloquence voice in iOS. How impossible is that?

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An idea that I have been thinking about is the possibility to have the eloquence voice in iOs. I don't know the foreigners' voice preferences, but what makes me prefer eloquence instead of the one that comes with the iPhone, is because it speaks more clearly, faster and pronounces the words correctly, in this case, I am talking about the Brazilian portuguese voice, which is the one I use most of the time. I have read (correct me please if I am wrong), that Apple bought nuance. Since I know, nuance has the rights over eloquence (and again, correct me if I am wrong), which in theory, would be possible to include the voice in the iPhone. As many of us have noticed, we have been experiencing some voice lags in iOs 5 due the high quality voices, a lighter voice would solve that, I guess. What do you think about this idea? What makes it possible / impossible?

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Submitted by Kevan on Friday, November 4, 2011

I would love that. I would *really* like it if they put DECTalk in iOS5 though, as I like the sound of it better. Hell, if they were to add DECTalk into iOS5, they might be able to make it sing songs that could be autotuned by the I am T-Pain app. LOL. Anything but non-compact Samantha, Samantha just sounds like a smoker under water.

Submitted by Nicolai Svendsen on Sunday, November 6, 2011

Club AppleVis Member
Since Apple used the Vocalizer voices, they actually added a lot of advantages. Firstly, those voices support a lot more languages than Eloquence does, which may be a part of the reason that they went with those voices. Secondly, I personally find Eloquence very annoying. Even though it's very efficient, using Eloquence when you have a headache doesn't help your headache. While I like that Eloquence distinguishes between exclamation marks and periods, changing the engine now would be too peculiar. I'm guessing there's an obvious reason for going with the Vocalizer voices, so getting Apple to change their mind is going to take a lot of effort, not to mention some very good comparisons. And again, Vocalizer is a lot more multilingual. Last time I played with German or Spanish Eloquence which was only a week or so ago, it sounded absolutely horrid when it came to the inflection. So, that's another advantage. The Vocalizer voices actually sound bearable in other languages.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, November 7, 2011

eloquence is a good voice for general every day use. However, the absolute best would be for Apple to incorporate the Ivona voices. Those, to me, are the most superior voices on the market for speech solutions. Nuance is, at best, only slightly better than eloquence. However, the lagtime and speech delay makes this, in my opinion, a very unsatisfactory set of voices. I have never been a fan of the REalspeak voices, not since I first heard them when using JAWS. So, Ivona is the way to go. If you've not heard the Ivona voices, go to www.ivona.com and give a listen.

Hi, Eloquence is pretty much impossible for Apple to put into iOS. First, as was mentioned, languages. The current voices sound pretty good for that--I've looked at a few in the settings--and it sounds pretty good. Second, nobody wants a computer-like voice. Yes, Eloquence is understandable at high speeds. Yes, a lot of people are used to it--in this community, anyway. Yes, it is a small voice-but it inherently sounds very computer-like, much more so than what they have currently. For the purposes of Siri and other apps that take advantage of text-to-speech, Eloquence would *completely* ruin the effect. Having an iPHone 4, I don't have access to Siri, but as I've heard a few demonstrations of it, it would ruin the efect of it.

Why is this topic focusing on replacing the current voices? Eloquence, ESpeak, and other computerized voices (that is, not the "natural" ones) are small and so could be offered as downloads if the user wanted them. Personally, I would like to see Ivona as well, but I would be quite happy to have Eloquence. If I choose to enable it (or download it), then I know what I am doing and so the responses from Siri would not be ruined for me. My question is: why not include Alex on iOS? They own it already, and I believe it supports most of the languages that iOS supports, and it sounds great. Again, all these synthesizers could be optional to download so they don't clutter up your iTouch.

Submitted by remixman on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In reply to by mehgcap

Hi, I believe the main reason they haven't done anything with Alex is because of the processor. But, with the new faster one in the 4S, maybe ram is the issue. Maybe they're both an issue. I don't know--but I could certainly tell you that, from a friend who told me, the 3GS lags with the new high-quality voices, so certainly Alex would cause more lag. I'd like to see Alex as well, but(as far as I know) it isn't currently possible. As far as Eloquence and similar as downloads, that's an interesting idea. I wonder if Apple might do that. Also, just a random thing, but has Apple bought Nuance? The original poster said they did, but I'm not sure--I never heard that before.

Submitted by Apple Bite on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I believe that would be best day of apple accessibility if we get that voice available. I'm hopeful since I read its going to be available in Android. this is the first thing where I feel Apple had been little slow. that is the voice engine with which most of us have spent a decade and use too with that due to obvious reasons. how can we make Apple understand this? do we have any Email address to write this to them other than this portal?

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Apple is going for a more human approach. Notice how much like humans the new high quality voices sound? Eloquence, Espeak and all the other voices sound like robots and would ruin the effect apple is going for. If it does show up in iOS it's most likely going to be a jb tweak. Once again I'm in the minority, I far prefer the Vocalizer voices to eloquence.

Submitted by splyt on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Apple voices either in english or in foreign languages just suck specially in ios 7.1. Apple should give us a choice. Eloquence is easily portable to other platforms, is fast, stable and not everyone is obligated to use it ... it is from a company that is the voices suplier and that is doing a far bad job of providing new voices, so they could very well provide eloquence which at least knows how to speak words in the languages they claim to support anyways. For us, in Brazil, simply there are not other options, we have one voice and this voice is ridiculous. It was bad in IIOS 6, it was worse in IOS 7 and it is extremely terrible in 7.1. Apple is taking steps backward in terms of accessibility. I do use a mac and IOS and like both, but Apple has to change the game. Should they keep regretting, other options will pass them in a few months, something I would not like to see but that is becoming the tendence if nothing else will change in a short period. Marlon

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hello Apple Bite, The best thing to do with a suggestion for a new feature is to contact Apple directly. Apple has a deticated email address for accessibility issues and feature requests. It is Accessibility@apple.com.

I am torn on this subject. While I do believe that Eloquence is a stable voice and one that is good for what it does, I also think that Vocalizer voices are pretty good also. Unfortunately, the ones that Apple have given us access to, at least as far as English ones, are the ones on the lower end. I've heard some of the newer Vocalizer voices, like Oliver, Allison, Ava, etc., and they are pretty good. Maybe what we should be asking Apple is why we only have access to the worst of their voice choices.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
If Eloquence came to iOS, I would use it. I am very familiar with the Eloquence voices on JAWS, and although there are much higher quality voices available, I still keep coming back to Eloquence. It's stable, pronounces things the way I expect it to, and...I'm just so used to it. With that said, I think it is quite unlikely we will ever see Eloquence on iOS. While it is being made available for use on Android, and while Nuance is the licenser of Eloquence, I still don't think it is going to happen. While I know I want Eloquence on iOS, and while this forum topic (and others like it) indicates that I am not completely in the majority, I think the actual number of users who would actually want this is quite low--when compared to the number of VoiceOver users worldwide. Being someone who would use Eloquence on my device if there was a legal way to do so, this is not a conclusion I want to arrive at. But I'm just trying to be realistic here. Given that Apple has allowed users to download Enhanced Quality voices for multiple dialects in iOS 7, I think the next logical step for iOS 8 would be for Apple to include gender options for VoiceOver voices--similar to how Siri now operates. If I had to guess, if Apple implemented this feature, they would most likely stick with the current voices now found in VoiceOver, plus the opposite gender options.

Submitted by rdfreak on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Yes, I'd certainly use eloquence if it was made available in IOS. It might be robotic, but to me, it's actually the best synth ever, the most clear. It would actually make my iPhone easier to use in my opinion.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
A less-robotic, more natural, or whatever you want to call it...voice is a wonderful thing. Until the inflections are unnatural. This is where Eloquence is superior, in my opinion. It is robotic, but it is quite expressive. For the masses, Vocalizer is probably more appealing. It certainly is a lot more understandable for people who are not used to text-to-speech. But, as I said...I still would love Eloquence on iOS and would definitely use it.

Agreed. and since nuance runs eloquence, actually no longer supports it, and they have plainly said no to other screen readers including nvda on the windows side of things (shame as some of us donated to fund this project) I can comfortably say that this will never happen, at least not in my life time.

Submitted by UndergroundRiver on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'd love to have Eloquence on iOS and Mac. I'm hard of hearing and have been using Eloquence for so long, I understand it better than I can understand my own family. Human-sounding voices tend to mumble a bit and be less clear than robotic ones.
I have no problem with having lots of choices, and I hope Apple will add more voices including Eloquence but also human ones for people who like that.
Accessibility is only as good as the number of people's needs that get met. I know that was an awkward sentence but...
I really wish Apple would add a male voice to the US English voices because the female voice reminds me of an annoying backseat driver or a GPS.
Alex on the Mac also has some really weird pronunciation and manages to mumble at low speed. So yeah, if Eloquence were added, I'd switch to it faster than you could say "go Apple!"
Sara

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, July 3, 2014

I woudl think newance has the choice to licence it nd since they already said no ap the NVDA fols as they are no longer supporting the voice I would not be surprise if apple got declined if they also asked for it. Also, the synth is prown to many crash words, none of which I will type here as I will probably get removed as fast as someone can sneeze. So in the end I don't think elequence is a good idea in the long run.

Submitted by Toonhead on Thursday, July 3, 2014

I know my response here will make people angry, but I'm all about being realistic. As popular as eloquence is in the blind community, lets face it folks, it is old technology. The first time I heard it being used was when JAWS for Windows version 3.2 came out, and that was in the late 90s or early 2000s. It's 2014 now. It would make little to no sense for Apple, or nuance for that matter, to include a voice synthesizer that is 15 years old. This is why people might be able to use it in other screenreaders, (unofficially of course), but that's because someone took ttime to make a modification for it, and sadly, Apple and Nuance aren't going to go for this. They'd be more likely to use something a lot more modern like the accapella voices, the IVona voices or something else like Alex, which as we know will be included in iOS 8. I know that people have been able to jailbreak and get more voices, but not everyone wants to do that. Bottom line folks...don't look for eloquence any time soon.

Submitted by splyt on Thursday, July 3, 2014

The fact that Android, with no modifications, is offering eloquence contradicts your points. Then the x86 architecture is old and everyone still uses it, extended but bbasically the same throughout the years ... samething for eloquence: mainstream screen readers use it such as JAWS and window-eyes. It is popular in the blind comunity but voiceover is designed solely for use of this very same comunity ... so while I agree it is not likely to happen I reserv myself the right to disagree with you when it comes to the reazons ... and these are just two:
1- Apple does not want to do it. And that is because they want their screen reader to sound diferently from others, byut their voices are regretting, staying dangerously near the unacceptable with each new release of their system!
2- Neither nuance does want, because the contract for a more natural voice is possibly more rentable.

While this makes me sad and, if android some day get as good as IOS this very characteristic will make me do the switch for Android, I will keep saying that eloquence is the very best voice ever made for fast and eficient reading. Apple did open a keyboard api. May be it will open the speech api one of these days and then may be we will have a chance of having eloquence running on it.
Marlon

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hi! I am well aware that many people in the blind community prefer Eloquence, so I can understand their wish to have it in VoiceOver on IOS, which is made for people like us who can't read the screens of our i-devices, but, speaking for myself, if Eloquence ever comes to IOS, which seems highly unlikely as far as I can tell, I would prefer it to be an option I can ignore, and not the default voice. During the ten years or so I used JAWS, I never took to Eloquence myself, as I have always had a preference for more human-sounding voices: I found the slight lag from using such voices less difficult to put up with than having to use a voice I didn't enjoy hearing. I don't have a hearing problem or a wish to hear text spoken at extremely fast speeds, which I know would justify wanting Eloquence for some people. I've heard that Alex will be part of IOS, FOR 64-bit devices at least, and, having heard him on friends' Macs as I don't have one, I look forward to him being on my next iPhone, but otherwise I'm happy with the Vocalizer voices, although it would be nice to choose their gender as someone suggested above. I don't suppose the ivona voices will ever end up on IOS except as part of apps like Voice Dream Reader, but I agree that they are excellent, and for me they would be a better alternative to Vocalizer than Eloquence could ever be, as I have personally never liked the latter. But each to their own taste in voice synthesisers, and I can see where Eloquence fans are coming from, even if I can never agree with them about that synthesiser myself!

Submitted by splyt on Thursday, July 3, 2014

The thing comes to this:

We need options. Eloquence is not a heavy voice. Some of nuance and ivona voices are not either.
If one does not want to redistribute all of them, let them be downloaded on demand.
The very same thing Apple already does on the mac should be done on IOS.
Marlon

Having extra voices which are downloadable on demand makes sense, although VoiceOver should still come with pre-downloaded voices so that it can be used straight away, especially important for new IOS users who have no experience of exploring the IOS settings. I don't suppose this download-on-demand option is ever going to happen, but there's nothing wrong with saying how good it would be to have it.

Submitted by Malthe on Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pretty much just what the subject says.
Running eloquence through an emulator to utilize it as a native speech engine has been done on the mac side, if nothing else that, or virtualizing it, could be a last resort.
I suspect it would require a jailbreak though, and not sure about the state of wine or something like it on iOS.

Post edited to reflect proper terminology.

Malthe.

Submitted by splyt on Thursday, July 3, 2014

Not an option I guess.

As far as I know mac is x86 while IOS is ARM. If this is true I hardly believe that such emulator could be easily constructed.

As for the mac, the speech engine is too slow ... I suspect that using an emulator is going to make it even slower.

Submitted by Malthe on Thursday, July 3, 2014

Eloquence has already been emulated on mac, though I'm unsure of it's legal status, so I won't link directly to it here.
As for iOS you may be right. Parallels have done some virtualization products, but they may just be mirroring a VM on a computer. I haven't looked into it much

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, July 3, 2014

It is very much eligal as I stated as newance is not supporting the voice anyware now and they don't want it to be used anyware but there they say it will be used, plus the risks of crashing the synth are too high for this person who does not like crashing tts engines

Submitted by Jordan Gallacher on Thursday, December 3, 2015

I would love Eloquence on the iPhone. I have Eloquence on both Android devices I have although CodeFactory refuses to acknowledge or do anything about the fact that Eloquence does not work correctly on my S5 running Lollipop. Anyway, I have been thinking that Eloquence even as an optional download on iOS would make a lot of good sense. Most people are quite comfortable with it and can have the speech rate very quick and still understand it. I have Samantha up at about 80, but I have Eloquence set to at least 90 on my computer and both Android devices and can still understand it very well.

Submitted by Tina on Thursday, December 3, 2015

I can certainly understand why some posters want Eloquence on their iPhone. I've also seen remarks like this before if some psople feel that the voices are, in their eyes, not meeting expectations.

Face it, I struggle with this as well, but I'm not afraid to face reality.

It's likely anyone longing for Eloquence is looking for a voice that reads at high speeds and is understandable. However, I also recognize that that is not the direction text to speech is going. The overall trend is to go for a more realistic voice. You do give up speed, and while many are attempting to find a middle ground in this area, there is just no way there is going to be a perfect solution that will work for everyone.

Sure, some of the new voices on the iPhone are less responsive, but I also recognize that Apple will work on that. For now, though, if anyone does care about memory, you do have the compact voices on your iPhone. You do lose some quality, but you will gain speed. There are always trade-offs.

Just to give my opinion on Eloquence, I used that voice for a long time, since that was what I had available on my PC. It did its job, and I recognized it for what it was.

I also recognized the direction TTS was going, and I decided to stop using that voice last year. I've never looked back.

As I have said in other posts, I don't use the Samantha voice on my phone, just because I know it's on everyone's unit. If I'm in a workshop and everyone's using that voice, it would sound like I was in an echo chamber. That is why I like to stay with the Alex voice.

Submitted by splyt on Thursday, December 3, 2015

TTS isn't going anyware tts users aren't going.

Voices are not multual exclusive, there might be more than one available on the same device.

And so we have that elderly people becoming blind and wanting a natural sounding voices and so on .... good but, again, if one voice would somehow prevent the other this argument would be acceptable, but this is not true. As I said in another post, the only reazon Apple won't implement eloquence on the devices is they do not want to do it ...

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Thursday, December 3, 2015

It doesn't make financial sense for them to purchase the rights to an antiquated synthesizer that, while still useable on the Windows and, apparently, the Android platforms, hasn't been updated in forever. Why would they purchase the rights to this voice when they already have a huge portfolio of voices that they do have the rights to?

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, December 4, 2015

Agreed, and plus newance alrdeady told nvda no that they were not going to give them a licence to eloquence So I see no point in this synth beeing in ios at all.

I, actually do think that eloquence is still better than most human sounding voices out there. So personally, it doesn't really need any more updates as much as many other voices. I would be fine if eloquence is not updated. Why? Because other than more languages, there's nothing to be updated.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, December 4, 2015

One of the main concepts behind apple products is that they are not customisable, they just work. They don't let you tinker because, theoretically, the experience has already been optimised. Jobs first vision of the Mac was a box with hardly any ports on it, everything was locked in and locked down. This continues with the iPhone (Talk of removing the 3.5 mil jack), and in this case it is the same with software. They won't let you alter the user experience for a couple of reasons, the first is image... People should be wowed by their technology and to hear a slick device sounding like it's come from an 80s sci-fi would not fit the bill. Secondly, over customisation can lead to conflicts, I still remember battling with windows machines.

Now, I'm not saying this is right, but the user experience is optimised for the masses, that's kinda what you get when you buy an apple product, the sweet spot.

I know I shouldn't say this, but, well, consider an android phone if you like such customisation. I had a play with one a couple of weeks back and was very impressed with it and there are some pretty marvellous phones out there.

Just my little view.

Also, anyone else noticed Alex says 'marvellous' in a rather odd way?

Submitted by Toonhead on Friday, December 4, 2015

I also believe the people who really, really want eloquence on their devices should consider an android device, if you have enough cash to have that in addition to the current iDevice you have. For this type of thing Android is more open and allows for more customization, obviously a lot of people on here want that. But Apple, without using jailbreaking is a case of set the options you want, the way you want, and get on with life. That's just how the user experience is.

Submitted by Quinton Williams on Sunday, January 20, 2019

Honestly, part of me wonders if apple's possession of a nuance license has expired. I mean, Vocalizer has received many updates within the last few years but neither mac os or iOs have received them. As much as I'd love to have eloquence on iOs, I highly-doubt it will ever become a reality.

Submitted by Queen Siren on Sunday, May 3, 2020

As of 2020, Eloquence is no longer supported, even for Android. It has been pulled from the Google Play Store, no longer available for purchase. There is a perfectly safe way to download it from the Blind Help Project, but this unfortunately does not apply to Apple. As for voices, I would be happy with anything that is not Vocalizer, or especially Alex. I personally find the breathing simulation very awkward, and the voice to be sort of harsh sounding. I only really enjoy the British Siri voice myself. It is the closest thing to an Ivona voice that is available. Though I think that Eloquence may be expired as of now, I would definitely appreciate Apple creating some new voices of their own, or availability for third party voices. This should not really matter in terms of Apple not supporting customization because they offer third party support for magnification, braille screen input, and keyboards. And I know that there are some Apple users who would be willing to purchase these voices, Apple would not need to make them free. But this is only an opinion, and I still very much appreciate the accessibility of Apple's products.