On a drive recently and wanting to listen to a longform article over BlueTooth, I considered my options.
Apple News has a great new human-read audio service, but only for select articles.
There have been a half dozen human-read news apps that came to (and sometimes went from) the App Store in the last few years, but their library of content is often small — Noa and Listle, to name a couple.
Instapaper and Pocket can “read” articles with generated speech, but the quality of the speech isn’t great.
I remembered the impressive demo of the new Siri voice at the iOS 13 keynote and thought it’d be cool if Siri could read an article to me. I said, “Hey Siri, read this article to me,” with no luck.
But there’s an unobtrusive accessibility setting you can activate that will allow you to trigger Siri reading any web content.
In “Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content,” turn on “Speak Screen.” Then in “Voices,” download one of the “Siri” voices, which should be better than the default “Samantha.”
Now, when you’re viewing an article in Safari, swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen, and Siri will start reading the article, even with variable speed. It’s not perfect, but it’s better and even easier than the third-party options I’ve found.