Nokia Lumia tips: Read text messages aloud/say incoming messager’s name.

| January 16, 2012 | 15 Replies

Ah this design! Why is it so nice!! πŸ˜€

Remember the post where we talked about some Voice Command features for the Nokia Lumia?

There’s a really neat feature that I didn’t get to demo personally because I didn’t have it activated (and didn’t see it in settings at the time). The feature you may have seen before allows you to get the phone to read the message out to you and you can even reply to it. By default it is active for bluetooth headsets but you can set it to work any time you have your profile to ring&vibrate.

What to do?

Settings>Speech>Read incoming text aloud ‘always on’. Done.

It has been soo, so useful for me. I’ve been using it for a while and it’s just great when you can’t get to your phone to have your message read to you. Some situations maybe:

  • Driving
  • Early morning, still in bed. Received a text. You might not know where the darn phone is or might be too tired/lazy to get out of bed or don’t want the brightness of the screen to stab your low light adjusted eyes.
  • Working in your own (private) office and the phone might be charging on the other side
  • Preparing food in the kitchen, hands might be dirty. Get the text read out.
  • Sorting out the kids, but need to read text. Multitask.
  • Also just hearing who the text is from is cool anyway.


If you’re already in the middle of a text convo, the phone won’t read out loud and will let you carry on just typing.
You’ll see a notification anyway who it is with a little excerpt of the text.

The only downside is perhaps your ex hearing you say ‘ignore’ to her text messages or other people overhearing your text messages.

We showed this to Steve our smartphone n00B and he’s using it all the time. Got my mum in using this too.

Some neat touches are that it can read out some shorthand, e.g. LOL, x (as kisses), and smilies.

If you’re not in an environment where you want your messages to be read, you might just have your phone on silent. If so, it won’t read your messages or give you voice notification of incoming messages.

I’d like to emphasise the reading of the text bit. Replying to text by voice is good if you have a short reply or a long one without pauses. Otherwise, like with pretty much all speech to text, it’s sketchy.



Category: How to:, Lumia, Nokia, Video, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablogΒ and Β Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • zaak

    Jay the blue Ine is nokia lumia 800?
    I didnt see the camera shutter on it

  • did u use a N9 cover? i didn’t see camera buton…

  • rstyle

    Very cool…

    I remember when Nokia had this campaign for Symbian that you can submit an IDEA for an app and people will vote for it to be develop as an app. i submit a very similar idea like this one..also very close to “siri” but using an active mic (which you can turn on/off) also that user can set a name that will trigger the phone to perform this kind of function.

    “lumia.. send a text to mom… message Ill be there next week. send”
    “lumia”.. call Honey.
    (lumia will be the trigger word to activate this task) activating the phone with out pressing any buttons.

    I really like this app you showed jay!

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  • crisscrossss

    You are aware that this was available in nokia symbian phones since n8? Also downloadable from nokia for s60 phones.

    • Jay Montano

      I don’t recall the implementation being like this. Do you?

      • crisscross

        No, to get autospeech you had to install an app…

    • Just Visiting

      Sorry crisscrossss – the functionality in the N8 is very poor compared to what is in WP; I don’t even bother to even use it for my N8 because it’s so bad. That goes for the rest of the voice commands in Symbian as well – just not worth it to me to even bother with it.

  • crisscrossss

    Sorry, already nokia 5500 featured text to speech

  • Just Visiting

    Fantastc demo, Jay. It is super awesome that this functionality is built right into the WP OS and there is absolutely no need for app to utilize this functionality. While speech to text isn’t new (Microsoft had this functionality with Windows Mobile as well), Microsoft has taken this functionality to a new, and even better level.

    And the voice recognition is quite accurate it seems. One of the other things that I like is that you can open an app via voice command (which you’ve also demoed during some of your Lumiaappaday’s).

    I am so looking forward to purchasing a Nokia WP device πŸ™‚

  • Lloyd

    Jay your lock code is 2175 πŸ˜‰

  • deepesh

    jai where is the camera button on the blue lumia 800..or is it covered up by the silicone cover from the N9

  • works well when driving, no fiddling with the phone. my lumia 800 has multiple options for the speech. very good feature.

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