Mobile Speak 3.40 and Limited Observations
It wasn’t a while ago that I posted the news of the release of Mobile Speak 3.40 on this blog. I was planning to compare it with TALKS 3.51, however, Code Factory’s sales department didn’t reply to my requests for a Mobile Speak demo license. Actually, I got a Mobile Speak 3.32 30-day demo license in early January, but I can’t use it with Mobile Speak 3.40. As a consequence, I asked Code Factory a few times to provide me with another demo license for the purpose of reviewing the application on this blog, but they haven’t yet sent me a reply. As a consequence, what you read below is far away from a full-blown review because I was limited to 10 minutes of Mobile Speak per session, and didn’t find it comfortable to restart my N82 every 10 minutes. If and when I get the demo license, I’ll publish a more in-depth Mobile Speak review here.
As with Nuance TALKS, Mobile Speak requires the installation of two files. One is the screen reader itself, and the other is the TTS engine. After going to the Mobile Speak download page, I ran the wizard and downloaded the Fonix US English package of Mobile Speak. This gives me the familiar DECTalk voice in US English.
When installed, all Mobile Speak icons are placed in a folder titled Mobile Speak. This folder can be located on the main menu, and allows users to start/stop Mobile Speak or configure it.
The 3.40 improvements
As this is not a comprehensive Mobile Speak review, I directly jump to the improvements found in V3.40. First of all, the music player is now accessible with Mobile Speak. With the 3.32 release, I couldn’t use the music player and Mobile Speak together. Also, Mobile Speak 3.40 can recognize progress bars, and you need to press the joystick up or down to hear the progress bar indicators.
Mobile Speak can now play a sound upon starting up. I find the playback process problematic on my N82. First, it gets played before the standard Nokia start-up sound, thereby confusing many users. Second, it’s quite louder than the Nokia start-up sound, and its volume cannot be altered at all. It’s worth mentioning that the use of such a sound can be disabled in the Configure Mobile Speak window; however, once enabled, the problems can be observed readily.
With the 3.40 release, Mobile Speak users can adjust the volume of the Nokia TTS separately, and this is useful for calls. As before, Mobile Speak does a good job of reading the standby icons without any delays whatsoever.
Mobile Speak 3.40 is a bit sluggish while navigating in lists and different menus. Although things have dramatically improved with newer Mobile Speak releases, there’s still some work to be done in this regard. Moreover, from time to time I experience total speech cutouts for a few seconds before being able to resume my normal activities. Finally, the Configure Mobile Speak window is as sluggish as before, meaning it requires a couple of seconds to become active.