Can't use iOS quality voices in Pleco



In iOS accessibility settings it's possible to download better quality voices for most languages, including chinese.
Unfortunately i just don't seem to find a way for pleco to use those downloaded voices for speaking sentences inside the App, so I'm stuck with the 'Apple Mandarin Female' voice.
Am I missing something? Or it IS impossible to use the aforementioned voices?




Staff member
That's an iOS limitation, unfortunately - there's not really an API for us to get at anything but a default voice for Chinese.


that's such a stupid limitation imo.
They put millions into improving speech capabilities and then they don't share the results with devs?

Let's hope things will change with future apple software updates.


Hi LeonardoM,

I agree; I think the reason is that Apple doesn't control all of the patents and licenses that are needed for the Siri technology (voice recognition, synthesis, and other AI). For voice recognition, for example, I found that it relied on technology from Nuance Inc. in 2010:

So just like a device such as iPhone depends on technologies from hundreds of companies nowadays, Siri's licensing situation may be similarly complicated, limiting what Apple is allowed to do with it. It's the same with Microsoft's Cortana: I wasn't able to use its voices for a simple app I wrote on Windows; there also, one only gets very old-sounding voices from the 1990s and maybe early 2000s for free. Smaller companies are excluded from this licensing game, because licensing all of these technologies and integrating them would probably get much too expensive for them. I hope the open-source world will catch up someday. (or the licensing models will improve)


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