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Text to speech apps taking off with more options on the way

HearIt will connect to your favorite news reader app and when you're ready, their automated voices will read you the news. (AP Photo/File)

It won't be on the market for another few months, but smartphone users are already flocking to apps that read their news for them.

HearIt's CEO Paul Simons and COO Matthew Markus started with the iHear Network. They told GeekWire on KIRO Radio that HearIt will take consuming news to the next level.

HearIt will connect to your favorite news reader app and when you're ready, their automated voices will read you the news.

iHear Network has been 10 times busier than the standard smart phone app, so Simons and Markus said they see the demand. While GeekWire has talked about apps like Umano in the past, where real people read a select number of news stories that you can then listen too, the possibilities under that app are limited to what's been prerecorded.

But with HearIt's current voice, "It has a little bit of inflection, enough personality to read these longer articles," Simons said.

"We alternate between a male and female voice, kind of what you do in a news reporter situation," added Markus.

While HearIt won't be available for a few a more months, the creators are already looking toward their future versions.

They've talked about making celebrity voices available - it could certainly give your story about Q2 profits and losses a little more personality if read by James Earl Jones.

Listen to this episode of the GeekWire podcast here.

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About the Author


Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at MyNorthwest.com. She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.

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