Talking RSS Reader for Android

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Keeping informed in a fast moving world can be a challenge. What if you could use those moments when your body is busy but your mind is idle to catch up on the news? That's how I decided that I would get my Android phone to read the news to me, out loud. This is doubly useful for me, because I am blind.

The Talking RSS Reader application reads articles out loud using text-to-speech. The text of the sentence currently being spoken is colored on the screen. Speech and text scrolling are synchronized. The touchscreen buttons to skip articles are right at the bottom corners of the screen, where your fingers can find them on their own. Menus and dialogs are also spoken out, so that you can "star" an item or choose a different RSS feed without ever having to look at your phone.

The application integrates with the Google Reader service, which means that articles read on your phone need not be shown to you again when you use Google Reader on another device.

It is my hope that drivers, joggers and commuters will find this a helpful tool for keeping up with the news that concerns them.

The source code for the application is available on Google code, so that anyone wanting to develop a useful talking application for Android will benefit from what I learned. If you'd like to send feedback or have questions, drop by our discussion list. Happy hearing!