It's not always practical to read text messages on your Android phone, especially when you're on the go. Instead of risking the law, you can use Android's built-in features to read aloud texts.
These features may also be beneficial for the visually impaired, or for those who want to shorten their screen time. There are also third-party apps that read your lyrics.
Let's look at all the options and how to set them up.
Installing Google Assistant on Your Phone
Google Assistant has been created on most modern Android smartphones, and you can set it up so your text messages are read aloud.
If you do not have Google Assistant on your phone, you can install it. The app is linked to your Google Account. Once you have it installed, you can use it for all tasks, from finding the latest weather forecast, to controlling smart devices, to reading and answering messages.
RELATED: The Best Tasks That Google Assistant Can Perform on Your Android Phone
After you've installed Google Assistant, you can enable it in several ways. You can just say "OK, Google" or "Hey, Google" to get started. Alternatively, tap the Google app (if pre-installed on your device) or Google Assistant, and then tap the microphone icon.
On some devices You can also press and hold the Home button for a few seconds to access the wizard.
You may need to train or retrain the language model if Google Assistant does not "hear" your commands.
Set up the Google Assistants to read text messages
If Google Assistant is ready for instructions, say "Read my text messages."
When you do this for the first time, the app may ask you to grant permissions for your notifications. Tap "OK" to agree.
On the "Notification Access" menu that appears, tap the button next to "Google."
Tap Allow in the window that Google seems to grant access to.
Return to the Google Assistant, or say "OK / Hey, Google" again, then repeat the "Read my SMS" instruction.
Google Assistant starts at the beginning and reads your SMS notifications as well as notifications about messages from other sources such as WhatsApp.
It tells you the sender, reads the message and asks if you want to reply.
If you say "yes" and then dictate your answer. Google Assistant sends your response automatically after it's transcribed.
Prompt Google Assistant for reading past text messages
Unfortunately, Google Assistant can not read you previously received text messages. This has been done in the past, but it seems that this feature has either been removed or just stopped working.
In the Google Consumer Forums, a significant number of users have reported that this feature either no longer works for them or for them, causing the Google Assistant app to crash. Our tests confirmed the problem on a Samsung Galaxy S9 with Android 9 Pie and an older Android 7 Nougat device.
Just try it on your device. To try this feature, say "OK / Hey, Google," followed by "Read Last Messages."
If the wizard says "There are no new messages". If Google Assistant crashes, this feature will not work on your device. In this case, you must use another app.
When this feature is enabled, the Google Assistant reads your older text messages one at a time.
Enabling Speech Output  Google Assistant is useful, but Android has more built-in features that let you read your lyrics. One such feature is the voice output. However, this feature requires you to use your hands, making it a poor option for situations like driving a car.
Persons with poor eyesight, however, may find the speech output useful. For this to work effectively, you'll need to use an additional module called "Select Speech Output" in Google's Android Accessibility Suite.
After downloading and installing the Android Accessibility Suite from the Google Play Store, go to the Settings section of your device. You can find it in the app drawer, or scroll down the notification shadow and tap the gear icon.
From here the operation may vary depending on the device used and the Android version in progress. We performed the following steps on a Samsung device with Android 9 Pie.
In the Settings section, tap Accessibility.
Tap Installed Services. The "Select to Speak" menu may be in the list of options in some preference menus. If so, tap on it and skip the next step.
Here is a list of available Android accessibility features. Touch "Select to Speak."
Select "Select to Speak," then tap OK to confirm.
After activation, a symbol in the form of a person appears in the lower menu bar.
Tap this icon to access the language selection playback options. Touch any text on your screen that you want to hear from the voice output. The text you select will turn blue and read.
The sound is not refined This is a good alternative if you want your texts to be read aloud – especially if you have poor eyesight.
This works in other apps, such as your email client, web browser, or messaging apps. like WhatsApp.
There are third-party apps on the Google Play Store that offer similar features. For example, ReadItToMe reads notifications about incoming messages, including those from your default SMS app and other messaging apps.
Another option is Silent. In this app, you can set up separate profiles that automatically enable or disable the feature in certain situations, such as: For example, if you connect to a Bluetooth speaker or connect headphones.
However, no third-party app is currently reading back earlier messages without relying on the Google Assistant method (which is flawed). If this is a problem, you can use the "Select to Speak" option described above.