Frequently Asked Questions

About Speaking Email

  • Is is accessible for blind or visually impaired users?

    If you are blind or visually impaired, you may find Speaking Email useful. The app reads out the contents of your inbox continuously (ie speaks each email in turn). It skips over email signatures, disclaimers and other email-specific clutter - making for a smooth and seamless reading experience.


    Speaking Email is fully accessible with VoiceOver, the screen reader that blind people use to interact with their iPhone. We’ve been reviewed as a fully accessible app on AppleVis, the online community for visually impaired iPhone users.


    Tips for blind or visually impaired users:

    • Blind users typically use VoiceOver (on iOS) to navigate and use apps. We've refined Speaking Email to be fully operable with VoiceOver. All screens and menus have accessible fields and prompts.
    • When using VoiceOver on the mail reading screen you can swipe left and right to hear each email (just like you can without VoiceOver). You need to use the buttons in the button bar at the bottom of the screen in order to perform actions - archive, star, instant reply actions, instant FYI or ignore sender. Swipe up and down to go between the buttons and the tabset controlling the email slider.
    • If you are not a VoiceOver user, you can double tap anywhere on the email to archive it. This shortcut is very powerful - you can easily clear email out of your inbox that you've already read. Archived emails go into an "archived" folder which is automatically created if you don't already have one (and many mail platforms have one by default).
    • It is a not a replacement for an email client but rather an additional way of accessing your existing inbox in a more passive way - requiring fewer manipulations. Its focus is on reading our the content of the emails in your inbox. It isn't for composing or managing mail - for this you would still use your normal email app.


    What users say


    Here is a quote from a blind VoiceOver user Joanne Tran who helped beta test the app to ensure it is fully accessible:


    I personally like having Speaking Email as an additional tool in my toolbox. I find it's nice to have the app automatically open any unread messages and having it start reading each message after it checks for new messages. I also like having the ability to skip over the information that I don't want to listen to such as the signatures. The option to automatically read the next message is a plus for me. This includes the option to skip the promotional messages. I think this app is worth it in my book.




    We’ve had a lot of enthusiastic and supportive feedback from blind and visually impaired users, which makes this effort really feel worthwhile:


    “I just wanted to say this app is awesome! It makes reading emails a lot easier.”


    “Your app is one of a handful that could assist people with visual problems and I strongly support your efforts.”


    “I want to thank you for this app because my 93 year old mother is almost blind from macular degeneration. She can now listen to her emails without needing someone to read them to her”


    “Speaking Email totally rocks! The accessibility is awesome!”



  • What TTS engine do you use for reading email?

    Speaking Email uses your phone's native TTS (Text-To-Speech) engine to read your emails to you in a clear voice. It uses your phone's regional settings so it speaks your emails aloud in your language and accent.


    We first extract the content from each email in your inbox, using our proprietary algorithms to turn emails into spoken language, and use the TTS engine to provide the speech synthesis of this email content.


    If you have the premium edition, there's a "multilingual" option too. This option switches voices based on language. It detects the language of the email contents and selects the highest quality voice installed on your phone of that language. You can also select your preferred voice for your local language as well as English. 


  • Can I speak directly to Speaking Email?

    We have recently released (Mar 2017) dictation and voice commands for Speaking Email. This means that when you 'tap' the screen during reading, the 'pause' screen appears as expected, but then the phone starts listening for voice commands - the are simply the names of the buttons. At this point, you can say a button name - like 'trash', 'next', 'archive', etc. You can also set Speaking Email to pause after each email, and wait for a command - this is so you dont even need to tap the screen. That is even more safe when driving.


    One of the coolest commands on the 'pause' menu is 'reply' - this allows you to dictate the entire response, check it is correct, and send it (or redo it, or cancel).


    We are working to make the pause screen appear when you press the 'action' button on a headset, or bluetooth device..


    Previously we had people ask - 'Does Speaking Email use Dragon Dictation?' - It does not - we use speech recognition engines that come with iPhone and Android phones.

  • Does this app read my email aloud?

    Yes! Speaking Email does just that. It reads your email aloud, so you can listen to email on the move on your iPhone or Android phone in the car or anywhere. It reads out loud all emails in your inbox, continuously, one by one, and new emails that arrive while you are listening are slotted in next.


    If you are so busy and get so much email you don't have time to read it during your working day, use Speaking Email to hear email read aloud to you. 


    "This is best email app for driving" - Brian Sutton, Lawyer, UK


  • How much does it cost?

    The Basic Edition is free. We made this so you can try Speaking Email, test it out connecting with your mail provider, a give it a go. It has fewer options, and plays little teaser promos where it should skip signatures.


    The Premium Edition is now available on a monthly or yearly plan for approx US$2 per month (depending on currency). A couple of bucks a month is an incredibly cheap price considering how much time Speaking Email gives you back! The idea of this is of course to encourage plenty of people to use it.

  • How would I use this?

    Listen to your emails while driving to work - get on top of communication and formulate a plan for the day. Many people spend the first hour every day on email - you can easily cut this in half.


    During the day you can switch off your emails and concentrate on getting some work done, then catch up on emails on your drive home.


    You can de-clutter your inbox and make sure there are no surprises lurking there. It feels good to know you've not missed anything.

  • Who is this app for?

    Anyone who gets a lot of email and needs to stay up to date. We envisage the typical usage to be for business people, who want their work email read to them during their drive to and from work.


    We think anyone who takes responsibility for their own work time will like it, such as people in leadership or management roles. Executives, self employed people, marketers, journalists, politicians, account managers, team leaders, lawyers, accountants, doctors, engineers, consultants, sales people on the road all day... lots of people who use email as a primary tool.


    Inbox zero enthusiasts will particularly like the chance to use downtime to prune their inbox.

  • Is it available on Android?

    Yes! After many requests we have launched Speaking Email on Android now.


    It is available in the Play Store here, or search for Speaking Email.


    We support Android 4.1 (Jellybean) and above.

  • If I listen to my email on my commute, how will I stay up with the news?

    Send yourself email newsletters. Subscribe to your favourite news headline updates and get news that’s relevant to you

  • Is my error data secure?

    We take security very seriously. Data is transmitted over SSL and stored in ISO/IEC 27001:2005 compliant secure cloud storage. For more info, see our Privacy page.

  • Why don’t you use voice recognition?

    A study by a University of South Carolina psychology researcher found that planning to speak and speaking put far more demands on the brain's resources than listening. We've found ourselves personally that trying to get voice recognition systems to take commands can be big distraction. Actually tapping the phone quickly (and usually without looking) seems to require much less attention than the fully hands free approach of talking to an app.


    In some places though, voice control is the only legal way to interact with an app while driving. So it may be a feature that we add in future if we get many requests for it (email us feedback@speaking.email). 


    Part of the problem is that voice recognition does not work very well while the phone is speaking. We could pause for voice input at the end of an email, but ideally you would want to interrupt Speaking Email by saying “archive” or “next” in the middle of an email being spoken. If an incorrect recognition triggers a command to archive an email, it can be a pain. We would rather have an app that does what it does really well than include a feature that has “issues”.

  • Can’t I use Siri to read my email out loud?

    Ask Siri "read me my emails" to hear your first 25 email subjects and senders. To get the full text of the email you need to ask "read my last email", but you have to repeatedly push the listen button and ask for emails to be read out one at a time - using the same format, such as "read my second email". There's no way to have Siri read the next email or to interact in the context of the current email (eg archive or flag).


    Speaking Email on the other hand is specifically designed for reading out emails. Unlike Siri, it does not distract you with voice control or require your attention, but intead provides a great email client using your phone's native text-to-speech capability and a focus on safety while driving.


    We tailor the experience to the medium and the context. For example with email we detect legalese disclaimers, email signatures and other common email clutter and skip over them. Siri won't do this because it needs to handle a wide range of tasks.

  • Aren’t there other apps that can already do this?

    A quick comparison of other apps you might think would read your email out loud in a driving safe manner:

    • iPhone Mail (does not speak)
    • Siri (only reads 25 subjects and senders, or your first email, no facility to interact)
    • Gmail (does not speak)
    • OK Google (does not read email)
    • Inbox by Gmail (does not speak)
    • Voice Brief (hasn't been updated in 4 years, does not work with Gmail due to authorisation bug, does not work with Exchange)
    • Speak It (does not work with Gmail due to authorisation bug)
    • SpeakMail (only reads out attachments, not emails)
    • Listen’N’Drive (only reads out new emails)
    • DriveSafe.ly (no iPhone version, Android and Blackberry only)
    • Read My Email Pro (no iPhone version, Android only)
    • Out Loud app (speaks only the notification, not the full email content)
    • Talk Mail Pro (no longer works, removed from app store)
    • Reader+ for Gmail (not as fully featured, does not have driving-safe gesture controls or continuous playing)
    • Talkler (gesture recognition not as good, does not skip signatures, only displays text, full version more expensive - see * below)
    • Voice Dream Email (does not skip signatures, does not display emails, full version more expensive, does not support Exchange - see ** below)


    * Talker was the only other app in the app store that did the same thing when we launched Speaking Email, and we think Speaking Email is better because:

    • Speaking Email reads HTML email whereas Talker reads plain text versions only (and some emails have no plain version)

    • Talker attempts to use voice recognition and this is hard to get perfect - it often hears itself or interprets noises like moving the phone as commands

    • Talker keeps listening in the background after you switch away from it

    • Speaking Email has fewer commands so is easier to use without looking

    • Speaking Email's gesture recognition is more reliable (eg swipe to next works better)
       

    ** Voice Dream Mail was new in 2015, and it provides a similar feature set to Speaking Email, but it has some shortcomings including no Exchange support, no email display and no signature detection. As with every other app here you will spend more time listening to email signatures and disclaimers than content.

    But don’t take our word for it, you should try Talker and Voice Dream Mail as well and see which you prefer. They all have free versions to try.

  • What protection is there from malware and viruses?

    It is not possible for the app to trigger any malware that would jump out into your phone, for four reasons:
    1. Speaking email removes all script from the emails
    2. It does not follow any links or allow you to click any links
    3. There is no way to cause any harm using text-to-speech
    4. The iPhone and Android security models do not allow our app to write files into any other apps' folders so nothing can get out of our app into another 

  • Why did you make this app?

    I get lots of email and need to be up to date. Commute time is not used as well as it could be. If I could listen to my email while driving or sitting in traffic I could think about what I need to do and formulate what I need to go back to people with.


    This is what started my search for an app that would read out my email for me that was distraction free and could be used safely while driving. My search resulted in a realisation there was a big hole waiting to be filled by Speaking Email.


    Mike Nelson, Beweb CEO and Speaking Email Developer

  • Can I use Speaking Email with the app ‘Mailbox’?

    Yes. They work great together. Because both apps use your Gmail account directly, you can use them both to help take control of your inbox. 


    There are a number of folders you can customise in Speaking Email and you can set these to Mailbox folders if you wish - for example set your ‘star folder’ to be "[Mailbox]/To Read" or "[Mailbox]/Later".

  • Do you use Microsoft Cortana, Siri, or Hey Google?

    No, we don't use any of these online services. We use the text-to-speech voice synthesis that is built into your phone. We use the default system voice. You can change your system voice in your phone settings.

  • I found a bug or I have a suggested feature, how can I contact you?

    We'd love to hear from you. Please send us an email on feedback@speaking.email, and we'll get in touch.

  • Who is behind Speaking Email?

    Speaking Email is created and developed by Mike Nelson and Josh Cave at Beweb in New Zealand.


    Beweb is a locally owned web development company of 8 developers in Auckland, and have been using web technology to make business applications and websites for 15 years. See our website for more.

  • What about attachments?

    Yes Speaking Email can also read out attachments. PDFs or Word documents will be converted to text and read aloud where possible. (Currently this is not supported on some providers - but its in the plan) 


    If you have a long document to read through, just email it to yourself and listen when you like. 

  • Do you have a free version?

    Yes! The Basic Edition of our app is free. We made this so you can try Speaking Email, test it out connecting with your mail provider, a give it a go. It has fewer options, and plays little teaser promos where it should skip signatures.


    The Premium Edition is now available on a monthly or yearly plan for approx US$2 per month (depending on currency). This is incredibly cheap considering how much time Speaking Email gives you back.

Safe Driving and the Law

  • Can I get driving directions and traffic news and read my email too?

    When driving you can switch between different apps to get all the services you want.


    "Driving directions"

    "Traffic report"

    "Read my email"


    Siri or Google Now can help directly with driving directions and live traffic updates, and you can ask them to open Speaking Email to help with the last. Instead of "read my email" just say "open speaking email".


    You can easily switch between apps using voice commands, and other apps can interrupt your email listening as needed for driving directions, local maps, traffic news and the like.


    Speaking Email is a dedicated voice app for reading emails out loud while driving. You can use Google Maps to get driving directions, announcing turn by turn instructions, while Speaking Email is reading your emails out.


    You can get traffic conditions on iPhone by asking Siri "what's the traffic like" or "traffic report" or on Android by asking Google Now. 


    To switch apps on iPhone, use Siri and say "open speaking email" or "open google maps". Google Now provides this same functionality on Android.


    You will find Speaking Email is the best email app for reading your email while driving. 

  • Does this app enable safe driving?

    If you compare this app to using a normal email app, there is no question that Speaking Email is much safer. If you are sneakily checking your email in the car, this app provides a much safer alternative.


    In terms of driver distraction, anything can be a distraction including talking to passengers, hands free phone calls, kids, music. Listening to your emails is mostly passive, and Speaking Email requires minimal to zero interaction. All interactions are optional, and none take your eyes off the road for more than a second. So we think on the continuum of driver distraction, this app is much safer than texting and driving, and probably safer than making a phone call with your phone in a cradle or hands free. 


    We designed Speaking Email with driver safety in mind:

    • It requires minimal interaction, having only one main screen, meaning there is no need to navigate between screens.
    • There is no way to type replies and no need to ever use the keyboard. 
    • Your emails can be continuously spoken, meaning you never need to look at or touch the phone.
    • If you wish to skip an email, go back, or archive an email, you can easily tap or swipe anywhere on the screen without looking.
    • You only need to glance at the screen and tap once if starring (flagging) or twice if sending an instant reply (from pre-set text options that you can set up yourself).
    • You can also optionally glance at the phone any time to see your email with images and layout, to get a quick feel for it. But this is purely optional. 
    • Supports Bluetooth Audio (A2DP) 


    Your phone should be in a fixed mounting if you intend to touch it, and depending on your local regulations this may be a requirement.


    Studies show driver distraction is worse talking on the phone than listening. Some studies even suggest that talking with passengers is more of a risk than listening to voice recordings, because preparing to speak has a higher cognitive load than passive listening.


    For more about distracted driving see http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html 

  • Is it legal?

    How does Speaking Email fit with various laws and regulations? Many countries and states allow use of a mobile phone so long as it is in a cradle, does not require too much button pressing, has no typing needed and requires only glances at the screen.


    For example in New Zealand the phone must be secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle and the driver must manipulate or look at the phone only infrequently and briefly. Drivers are specifically banned from reading and composing text messages and emails.


    Our app enables the driver to glance at and listen to emails, which we believe is acceptable. Our reply function is a predefined list and doesn't allow you to type a message. Every function is a swipe or at most two taps, so this is minimal manipulation. We've taken care to ensure there are no complex gestures, small hit areas, keyboard input or demanding processes.


    You obviously need to use this app only as permitted in your area (if using while driving). We do not (and couldn't) provide any guarantee about whether your use of this app while driving would be considered unlawful in any jurisdiction.

  • How does it fit with mobile phone driving laws in Australia?

    In Australia mobile phones must either be operated entirely hands-free or placed in a commercially-manufactured cradle if you want to place a call, or use the phone as a navigation or other aid. An email reader is not really an aid so we recommend Speaking Email be used in a hands-free manner in Australia.


    See more info on the Australian road rules regarding mobile phones


    We've been featured in the the Australian, Daily Telegraph, NT News, SBS, Sky News.


    There are a couple of settings and preferences you may like to switch on if for best handsfree usage. 

    • Preference - Read next email automatically (already on by default)
    • Preference - Finish when reply detected (this skips to the next email when the end of the email is reached, including the start of a reply or forward thread or an email signature)
    • Account Setting - Play unplayed emails first (this means it will not read out the same email again ever - it will read out new emails or any emails you have not previously listened to)
    • Account Setting - Mark as Read when speaking (you may wish to turn this on to mark any emails you've listened to as "read" on your mail server - many people like to have them still unread when they get to their desk but its up to you)
  • How about US laws on mobile phones and driving?

    Mobile phone driving laws vary by state, and a good summary map is available here


    Handsfree states

    You must only use your phone handsfree if you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, or West Virginia. That means you can use Speaking Email to read your inbox out to you but not archive, star or reply. You can listen to your emails, which will be read out in order of your inbox with unread first, but not swipe or tap the screen.


    There are a couple of settings and preferences you may like to switch on if for best handsfree usage. 

    • Preference - Read next email automatically (already on by default)
    • Preference - Finish when reply detected (this skips to the next email when the end of the email is reached, including the start of a reply or forward thread or an email signature)
    • Account Setting - Play unplayed emails first (this means it will not read out the same email again ever - it will read out new emails or any emails you have not previously listened to)
    • Account Setting - Mark as Read when speaking (you may wish to turn this on to mark any emails you've listened to as "read" on your mail server - many people like to have them still unread when they get to their desk but its up to you)


    Less restrictive states

    You can use all features of Speaking Email in most other states. The following states do not require hands-free mobile phone usage:


    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming


    We believe it will be OK to use all features of Speaking Email in these states, provided it is not causing a distraction. Speaking Email does not allow you to type or require any complex interactions - its nothing like texting and driving, which is banned in many states.


    (Compiled from IIHS, current as at September 2015)

  • How about UK laws on mobile phones and driving?

    In the UK you must use your phone hands-free only. That means you can use Speaking Email to read your inbox out to you but not archive, star or reply. You can listen to your emails, which will be read out in order of your inbox with unread first, but not swipe or tap the screen.


    There are a couple of settings and preferences you may like to switch on. 

    • Preference - Read next email automatically (already on by default)
    • Preference - Cut off when reply detected (this skips to the next email when the end of the email is reached, including the start of a reply or forward thread or an email signature)
    • Preference - Cut off long emails (you can set Speaking Email to stop when any email is too long, and go on to the next - you can set how many sentences to read before it's considered too long)
    • Account Setting - Play unplayed emails first (this means it will not read out the same email again ever - it will read out new emails or any emails you have not previously listened to)
    • Account Setting - Mark as Read when speaking (you may wish to turn this on to mark any emails you've listened to as "read" on your mail server - many people like to have them still unread when they get to their desk but its up to you)


    For the official word see the gov.uk site for laws and regulations in the UK on mobile phone usage while driving (or see think campaign for advice on mobile phone road safety, driver distraction, texting and driving).

  • Mobile phones and crashes - the facts

    In fact drinking and tiredness are by far the most common causes of accidents. Take a look at these accident statistics from Monash University Accident Research Centre in Australia.


    MUARC study of 340 casualty crashes in VIC and NSW 2000-2011 
    13.50% Intoxication 
    11.80% Fell asleep
    10.90% Fatigued
    3.20% Failed to look
    3.20% Passenger interaction
    2.60% Felt ill 
    2.6%  Blacked out 
    1.80% Feeling stressed 
    1.5%  Looked but failed to see
    1.4%  Animal or insect in vehicle 
    0.9%  Using a mobile phone 
    0.90% Changing CD/cassette/radio 
    0.90% Adjusting vehicle systems
    0.90% Looking at vehicle systems 
    0.3%  Searching for object 


    13.5% Intoxication 11.8% Fell asleep10.9% Fatigued3.2% Failed to look3.2% Passenger interaction2.6% Felt ill 2.6% Blacked out 1.8% Feeling stressed 1.5% Looked but failed to see1.4% Animal or insect in vehicle 0.9% Using a mobile phone 0.9% Changing CD/cassette/radio 0.9% Adjusting vehicle systems0.9% Looking at vehicle systems 0.3% Searching for object 
  • Avoiding distractions while driving

    Here are some resources for driver safety information, thanks to Lisa Marshall at aussiewell.net.


    There a lot of things that distract us in our cars these days. Mobile phones get a lot of the blame, but truthfully there are a lot of other factors that can take our focus off the road, such as feeling fatigued or even talking with a mate riding with us.

Help and Tips

  • What can I do if my account is disabled in for ActiveSync?

    If Speaking Email says your account is disabled for ActiveSync, you will need to see your Exchange system administrator. 


    If you are managing the mail server, you will need to look for the setting to enable ActiveSync either on an individual account or a wider group. The screenshot below shows where this setting is in Office 365.


  • My iCloud email and password is being rejected

    If you are typing the correct password, your account may have been locked for security reasons by Apple. This is easy to unlock, just go to iCloud online and try to sign in there. If your account is locked you will be forwarded to iForgot and given instructions.



  • My Yahoo won't connect

    If your Yahoo password is not working, it may be due to increased security requirements Yahoo has placed on apps connecting. We suggest you set up an "app password" which makes this connection very secure.


    See the instructions from Yahoo here for creating an app password which you can use instead of your normal password when asked for a password in Speaking Email. This is the most secure method of connecting.


    Click here to go to the Yahoo security settings page where you can set this up.

    Alternatively you can enable apps to connect via IMAP by changing a setting in your Yahoo account (shown below).



    Speaking Email uses IMAP to connect to Yahoo, which is the industry standard. IMAP has a secure mode, which Speaking Email uses, meaning all data including your password is encrypted over the network. 


  • What does it mean, email address not a valid mailbox?

    When entering your email address and password to connect to an email service, you may get this error message:

    Ooops! Email address not a valid mailbox


    This means the email address you entered is probably not correct.


    1. You most likely mistyped it.
    2. Otherwise your email account or mailbox may have been suspended by your provider.


    Speaking Email attempts to connect to your mail server using IMAP protocol. If an error is returned we then check whether your email address appears to be valid by using an email validation system (SMTP lookup and deliverability test). Only if our test reports that this email address is not a valid mailbox then we show this error.

  • What does 'Gmail error 400: Mail service not enabled' mean?

    This means the Gmail API that Speaking Email uses to communicate with Gmail is not able to be used for your account.


    Most likely your email address is not a Gmail account. It is possible to be a Google Account but not a Gmail account (for example if you use the account for YouTube but have never enabled Gmail).


    Otherwise, if you have G Suite (aka Google Apps for Work) your organisation administrator may need to enable the Gmail feature or Gmail API access.

  • Why I am getting ActiveSync error messages?

    Speaking Email uses the ActiveSync protocol to communicate with Microsoft Exchange server, Office 365, and Amazon WorkMail. It's the protocol used by all Android and iPhone built-in mail apps, and it is designed for optimal mobile data usage.


    This is a fairly complex protocol and supports a range of server versions, security policies, and administration features. Due to the wide range of different configurations, some issues may be encountered.


    Errors when connecting your account


    Could not connect to Exchange server using ActiveSync using the supplied credentials. 


    When you enter your credentials to connect your account, Speaking Email validates and provides appropriate error messages to help you fix what is wrong. 


    Here are the various issues that can be identified:

    • Server format incorrect - should be like exch.mydomain.com (AS1)
      Do not enter http or any other characters. The server name should be just letters, digits and dots (eg myserver.mydomain.com)
    • The server address is not an email address, it should be something like exch.mydomain.com (AS1)
      Don't enter your email address in the server name field :)
    • Server name not found in DNS lookup (AS2)
      When a server is not reachable, we check to see if its IP address can be located using the internet domain name system (DNS). The server name could not be resolved, let alone reached, so is probably incorrectly typed. This server name could not be found on the internet, which means it is either not existing or is only available from an internal network.
    • Office 365 rejected your password (AS4)
      Check your password and make sure it has not expired. Note that passwords automatically expire (depending on Exchange server policy). 
    • Username for Office365 should be your email address (AS7) 
      You have entered a username which is not a valid email address, so this will not be your correct username since all usernames in Office 365 are email addresses.
    • Exchange version not supported (AS6)
      We probe your Exchange server to see if it responds to an OPTIONS command. If it returns HTTP 505 or 501 then this message is displayed. This could be a configuration error on your Exchange server (check ActiveSync is working from other devices). Or it may be that your server is not Exchange or Amazon WorkMail or is very old. 
    • Exchange Server rejected your password. Either username, password or domain is incorrect (AS4)
    • Exchange Server returned 403 Forbidden. The mailbox may not be on this server. (AS8)
      You may have incorrectly entered the server name, domain or username. For example you may have entered a valid Exchange server name but it isn't your server.  Things to check:
      • Domain - does your account need this?
      • Username - should it be your email address or just a username?
      • Server - is this the correct server where your account resides?
    • This is not an Exchange / Office 365 account.
      When the Exchange server rejects your credentials we do a check of your email address to see if we can automatically determine what account type it is, so we can suggest what kind of account it is you need. Please add the account using the correct account type in Speaking Email.
    • Office 365 does not recognise this email address (AS4)
      Check your email address for typos, or you may have a different account type.
    • Exchange Server returned 440 Login Timeout. This could be a permissions error. Check that you are able to connect via iPhone or Android mail and that 'Speaking Email' is an allowed User Agent (AS6)
      Verify that you can connect using ActiveSync in another email client, or use the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer. Your system admin can check on whether your server is rejecting Speaking Email based on its User Agent string.
    • Server may not support Exchange ActiveSync - cannot connect to [endpoint] (AS3).
      This may not be the correct server name. Check that the endpoint address looks correct. You may have typed it incorrectly.

      This error indicates that the server is not an ActiveSync server, so check if your mail server does actually support ActiveSync and whether it has a different address.


    If unsure what to do, you should verify that you can connect using ActiveSync in another email client (eg iPhone or Android mail), or use the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer


    Errors when using Speaking Email


    Unable to connect to your Exchange mailbox. Your user account has been disabled for ActiveSync. Please see your system admin to get ActiveSync enabled for your account. Code: UserDisabledForSync

    See our FAQ here.


    Unable to connect to your Exchange mailbox. You have reached the maximum limit of number of devices connected to this email account. Please see your system admin to get your limit increased, or you can delete old partnerships using OWA (Outlook Web Access). Code: MaximumDevicesReached

    By default Exchange Server 2010 only allows you to use 10 email clients at a time. To use Speaking Email you need to delete any partnerships with devices or mail clients that you are no longer. More recent versions have a limit of 100 partnerships, but you could still encounter this limit if you add and remove accounts a lot.


    For more information on how to resolve this, see this article from Apple.


    Unable to connect to your Exchange mailbox. Your user account has been temporarily blocked. Please see your system admin to get your account unblocked. Code: DevicelsBlockedForThisUser
    When a new device is activated for the first time, it may be blocked or quarantined by default or according to policies set up by the sysadmin. You may be sent an email about it, you may just need to wait, or you may need to contact your sysadmin to get Speaking Email unblocked. There are many ways to block access according to Allow/Block/Quarantine (ABQ) rules.

    Here is a guide to this topic from Microsoft.


    Access to your mailbox has been prevented. Your Exchange mail server has request a remote wipe of your account so Speaking Email has removed the account. You can add it again if it becomes available. Code:
    RemoteWipeRequested
    This means a "remote wipe" has been requested by the server. This would normally happen when someone loses their phone or an employee leaves. In this case we remove all email and personal details from the phone.


    You have over 2000 messages in [period]. Speaking Email will re-sync with Exchange Server and download only One Day Back. Code: TooManyMessages

    You can specify the number of days back to sync under Account Settings. But if this results in more than 20 pages of headers (or 2000) messages, Speaking Email will automatically reduce reduce its time window for latest messages. We do this in order to operate efficiently and avoid throttling limits. We also automatically extend the number of days back when there are too few messages. 


    ActiveSync: The policy data on the Exchange server is corrupt. Please contact your mail system administrator. Code: policyStatus4

    This might be due to network interference, so try again, or some network configuration (eg a proxy server or firewall).


    Cannot connect to Exchange. Perhaps your password is incorrect or you are offline. Go to Account Settings to reconnect.

    This is a generic error that occurs when Speaking Email tries to connect to Exchange and fails. This can actually indicate that the server rejects your credentials or that it cannot be reached. Check that you are connected to the internet, and whether your password has expired. 


    ActiveSync: Looks like your ActiveSync account has been disabled. Please see your Exchange server admin. Code: 403 Forbidden

    Talk to your system admin to check if your email account is enabled and has ActiveSync enabled. Otherwise ActiveSync could be incorrectly configured or disabled. Try accessing your account from another mail client, eg iPhone or Android mail.


    ActiveSync: Perhaps your password has changed. Access is denied due to invalid credentials. Code: 401 Unauthorized. Go to Account Settings to reconnect.

    By default Exchange Server requires users to change their passwords on a regular basis. Your password may have expired since you last used Speaking Email.


    Just go to Account Settings > Exchange Server Settings, type in your new password, and click Connect Account.


    Exchange Server too busy. Connection will be unavailable for 20 minutes. Code: ASThrottle

    By default Exchange server restricts connections in a variety of ways. We try to avoid hitting the default limits by slowing down requests and performing batched actions, but it depends on the server version, configuration, throttling policies and what other devices are connecting. Office 365 is particularly restrictive, so you may hit this error more often that you would like.


    Please email us if you are getting this error frequently so we can assess how widespread this problem is. Tell us whether you are using Office 365, Amazon WorkMail or your own server and what version if known.

  • How can I solve 'Error reading your mailbox with IMAP'?

    Speaking Email supports an IMAP account type, and also uses secure IMAP to access most cloud providers (Outlook.com/Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, iCloud).


    This error is shown when your login to the IMAP server was successful but an error was returned when we try to read the contents of the mailbox. This is an unusual situation and may indicate a problem with your mailbox. 


    Possible issues:

    • Your mailbox may be busy or be restricting access due to too much activity. Wait a while and try again.
    • Duplicate folders - if you try to access Exchange server via IMAP it will not allow any duplicate folders. These are allowed in Outlook and OWA (Outlook Web Access) so you can use these to find and delete any duplicate folders.
    • No such mailbox, can't access mailbox, or cannot find Inbox.


    Try accessing your mailbox using IMAP from another mail client or use Microsoft's Connection Tester

  • How can I add voices on my iPhone?

    Speaking Email uses the Apple voices installed on your iPhone. You can easily download more enhanced quality voices.


    In iPhone Settings, select General > Accessibility > Speech > Voices


    There you can download voices for any language. You need to be on wifi to download voices since they are quite big files.


    Back in Speaking Email you can now select those voices you've just downloaded. 


    When you upgrade to Premium, you can choose any voice to be your email reader, and a second voice to be your "announcer". 

  • Does it to read emails automatically out as they arrive?

    Yes but only while Speaking Email is in the foreground playing emails. In other words, while you are listening to your inbox, any new emails are inserted in the next available slot, so when you move to the next email it will be one that has just come in.


    Note that while the app is in the background it will not start speaking.


  • I'm having trouble with Speaking Email, can I send you something?

    We take bug reports and usability issues very seriously, and would like to hear from you with as much detail as possible to help us sort out the issue. If there is a problem, quite often Speaking Email will send us an error report. Sometimes a screen shot from your phone can be helpful in diagnosing the problem. To take a screen shot you can (in Anrdroid), press (and hold for 3 secs) the power and volume down buttons at the same time. This will add a photo of the screen to your photos app, and you can email us that. In iPhone, you can take a screen shot by following these instructions:

    • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the top or side of your device.
    • Immediately press and release the Home button.
    • To find your screenshot, go to the Photos app > Albums and tap Camera Roll.
    • Send us the screen shot, along with the time, date you took it, and which time zone you are in.


  • Can I change the voice quality on iOS? Sounds like Siri with a cold...

    Speaking Email uses the default system voice. In the premium edition, you can also select a voice. If you download new voices under system settings you can then select them in Speaking Email.


    In Settings go to General > Accessibility > Speech > Voices.


    Tap "Voice". If you don't see a "Voice" button, turn on one of the accessibility options eg "Speak Selection". Choose English (or your phone language).


    You will see a number of regional voice options. Speaking Email will pick up your region from regional settings.


    If your region's voice is set to "Default" it may have that Siri-with-a-cold effect. If it is, try setting it to any of the "Enhanced Quality" options. For the voice to take effect restart Speaking Email.


    You can now select which voice to use in Speaking Email Premium Edition, under Preferences.


          

  • Is there a shortcut to stop it talking?

    Yes! Just single tap anywhere on the email screen. 


  • Why is my Hotmail or Outlook.com password not working?

    If you have entered your email and password correctly but it says it is wrong, it could be additional security from Microsoft kicking in.


    You can set up  couple of different ways to secure your Outlook.com account, and you may have one of these set up (possibly without realising). 


    Check your email to see if your account has detected you trying to sign in and rejected it. There should be instructions on how to allow a new app to access your email.


    Sometimes just signing into your account can "unblock" it and you don't need to do this next step at all.


    If your account has two-step verification enabled, you will need to sign in to Outlook.com on your web browser, and click on 'App passwords' to generate a one-off password. This password can then be used for Speaking Email, keeping your normal password secure.


    To find these settings, go to the Security page on Outlook.com:

    https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage



    Scroll down a bit to see these settings:


  • This doesn't work for me - can I get a refund?

    Yes. If you are not happy with the app for any reason, we don't mind giving you a refund.


    For Apple users, go to https://reportaproblem.apple.com and login with your Apple ID. You will see a list of all apps you have bought and buttons to report a problem and request a refund.


    For Android users, if the purchase is within 2 hours, you can get a refund on the Play Store following this process. If it is after 2 hours, contact us on feedback@speaking.email and we will arrange a refund.

  • What is high quality voice download?

    You may be confronted with this dialog on some Android devices.


    High quality voice


    This means that your phone came with a normal voice, but it is low quality to save space on your phone. You can download a better sounding voice if you like - and if you have space on your phone. You should click the 'Do not show again' check box, as it will keep asking if you hit cancel. It is not required that you download a higher quality voice. Note that you can also change voices - see here

  • Does it use the mail settings in my phone?

    You need to open Speaking Email and click Account Settings to add your email account. It does not hook into the email app in the phone. (This is because Apple does not allow this)

    So therefore you have to look at your email settings, which you can find in your Settings in your phone or on your computer (eg in Outlook). First thing is what kind of email server is it?
    There are buttons to add the common types and "Other IMAP/POP" button if you don't know or it isn't listed.
    Once that is set up, to listen to your email you then just need to open the app. It will read the first 50 or 250 emails in your inbox, plus any that arrive while you are using the app. So you just open it when you get in the car, or when want it to start reading.

  • I can't figure out how to get it to connect to my emails

    You need to get your email settings, which you can find in your Settings in your phone or on your computer (eg in Outlook).


    First thing is what kind of email server is it?

    - Exchange (eg work email in corporate network, using ActiveSync for mobile connections, typically you would have Outlook email program on your desktop computer)
    - Gmail
    - Hotmail/Outlook.com (eg Telstra, note: this is not the same as Outlook email program)
    - Yahoo! Mail (eg Xtra)
    - iCloud 
    - Other IMAP/POP (choose IMAP if possible)
    - Lotus Notes (not supported, unless your server also supports IMAP)
    If you are unsure which server type you have, choose the "Other" option. Try typing in your email and password and see if it works - we can automatically detect many common email providers. If not you will need your IMAP server name.
    Note that some features are not supported on some email platforms. Exchange does not support replies. POP does not sync archived and flagged emails back to the server.
  • Does it work with Exchange or Outlook?

    Yes! If you use Outlook in an enterprise environment you are probably using Exchange server (don't be confused with "Outlook.com" - that is Microsoft's new name for Hotmail and is not the same at all). 


    We use ActiveSync to connect to Exchange server, which is the same protocol as your iPhone or Android mail uses. If you connect to your mail on your phone already, check your phone mail settings, which will show if you are connecting to Exchange. It will also show your server name and username.


    Your server name should be just the host and domain name (eg mobile.myserver.com).


    Your username will be either:

    • your full email address (and leave domain blank)
    • OR a username (eg mnelson) and domain (eg bewebnetwork)


    If you are having trouble connecting, Microsoft has a tool which helps you check if you have the right credentials. To use the tool, select "ActiveSync" (the default option). You can use this tool to check your connection:

    If it passes the checks and you can't connect to Speaking Email, copy the detailed report and send it to us at feedback@speaking.email (it doesn't contain any private details).

  • Where can I find out my settings?

    Most email providers have their settings available on their website, so google is your friend.


    For example search for "vodafone email settings"


    Or look in your phone mail settings.

  • I use the email app that came with my Samsung - how can I see what server type it uses?

    Here's how to find out what your email server is using the email app that comes with your Samsung.

    - In the Android email app, open the menu and hit "Manage Accounts"
    - Select the account 
    - Scroll to bottom and hit "More Settings"
    - Scroll down to the bottom and under "Server settings" it should say the server type, for example "Exchange server settings"

  • Do you support Office356 Exchange accounts?

    Yes we do. Use the "Exchange" account button and the server address outlook.office365.com



    Use your email address as the username and leave the domain blank.

  • How do I set up with Telstra/BigPond?

    If you have the older BigPond email service:

    - choose the POP option

    - enter the server mail.bigpond.com

    - stick with the default SSL and port

    - enter your full email address as the username


    If you have the newer Outlook.com service from Telstra:

    - choose the Hotmail/Outlook.com option

    - enter your full email address as the username


    Full details are on Telstra's website here.

  • How do I set up an Xtra account?

    If you are setting up Speaking Email with Xtra (New Zealand email addresses), you need to use the Yahoo account set up. In Speaking Email, click on Account Settings, and then click 'Add Yahoo Mail' account. 

  • Can I check my Lotus Notes email?

    Speaking Email does not support IBM Lotus Notes directly.


    But if your server administrator has set up the "IMAP service" option then it will work (use "add IMAP/other account").


    Here is some info from IBM about IMAP on Lotus Notes/Domino servers:
    Configuring IMAP client software


  • Can I connect to AOL?

    Yes :)


    We previously did not support AOL but now we do. Just select IMAP and enter your email address.


    The server name should be imap.aol.com and username is your email address.


  • Does speaking email work through (Bluetooth) the vehicle's hands free system? - or a bluetooth head set / headphone?

    Yes it does but it depends on your bluetooth equipment. You need to have the modern standard Bluetooth Audio (A2DP). Speaking Email does not work with the older standard Bluetooth Hands-Free Profile (HFP).
    You should set up your phone to play audio to a bluetooth output such as your car stereo, or bluetooth headset / earphones. You might need to check your device documentation / car manual to see how to complete a bluetooth pairing. Once you have paired your phone with the car stereo or other bluetooth device, do a quick test - for example, play music or a youtube video on your phone, and make sure you can hear the sound through the car speakers. Check the volume slider and mute button. Once that happens, Speaking Email will just speak normally through your bluetooth paired connection.

  • It is skipping too much or not enough - can I configure this?

    We detect and skip email signatures, disclaimers, phone number, web addresses and email addresses. You will hear "skipping signature" to let you know when this happens. Our detection is based on heuristics and is not always perfect, but is we think it is pretty damn good. We are continually improving it, and you are welcome to forward us any emails that are not being detected very well (eg a signature not being skipped or some text being skipped when it isn't a signature).


    There are several settings under Preferences to customise what is spoken:

    • Whether to read out the recipients, CCs, and time received. 
    • If you want to focus on important emails, you can switch on "skip promotional emails". (Or you might find you have time to listen to newsletters you subscribed to which you don't have time to look at!) 
    • There is an option to cut off when a reply is detected - ie "reply skipping" - where you can choose whether to have it move on to the next email when it detects the start of a reply thread / email trail.
  • Can I add multiple Gmail accounts?

    You can add any number of any type of accounts.


    When you click add Gmail account the second time, your first account is preloaded in the "google" connection screen.

    To change this, click your email address in the top right corner next to the Google logo. 
  • If I archive an email in Speaking Email, will this archive it in my other mail client (eg Outlook, Gmail, Inbox for Gmail, Thunderbird, Mac Mail app, Windows Mail)

    Yes, of course! You can also customise this so it puts all mail archived by Speaking Email into a folder of your choice. By default it will create a new folder called “Speaking Email Archived” but you can change this to any folder you like or turn this feature off.


    You can change the options so that the "archive" command (or double-tap) doesn't move the email but instead just marks as read. This is the way many people manage their email (but we recommend archiving email to make your life less cluttered!).


    Note that this does not work on POP servers, so we recommend using IMAP if available.

  • How can I change the speaking language?

    Speaking Email uses your system language, so you can change this in your phone settings, under region and language.

  • Can I change the voice that the phone speaks with?

    Yes, you can choose your preferred voices to read with, when you upgrade to Premium. You can choose any installed voice to be your email reader, and a second voice to be your "announcer". If you understand more than one language, turn on the "multilingual" switch to have your email run through language detection and spoken in the correct voice for the language.


    In the Basic edition, Speaking Email will automatically select an appropriate voice based on the language selected in your system preferences.


    We use built-in system voices, so your phone is processing all text-to-speech locally, and your system preferences are obeyed.


    In iOS, you can download Apple voices in system settings. In iPhone Settings, select General > Accessibility > Speech > Voices.


    In Android, you can also change voices in Settings:


    Settings


    then go to Language and Input


    Language and Input


    then go to Text-to-Speech output:


    text to speech


    You will notice that I have the defaul option, and another 3rd party option. In this case I used IVONA - a free speech engine you can get on the app store.

  • Can I type the message I want to reply?

    We have created Speaking Email with safe driving in mind. Therefore, it is not designed for typing email responses. There is an instant reply feature for sending a basic 'thanks' etc to an email. For any emails needing detailed reply, your email can be flagged for later.


    You can set up your own instant reply options - up to 10 - which can be up to 200 characters.

  • Can I use a non Gmail account?

    Yes! Speaking Email is now available for any of these services:

    • Gmail
    • Microsoft Exchange

      • Hotmail/Outlook.com
      • Yahoo! Mail
      • iCloud
      • AOL
      • Any mail server that supports IMAP or POP (which is pretty much all mail servers)
      This means we support 99% of the email user base. If you have Lotus Notes, we don't support this natively, but you can use your email via IMAP if your IT team has switched on the IMAP protocol.


      Email us: feedback@speaking.email if you have any issues connecting to your mail server.

    • I can't hear any talking, what's wrong?

      Probably something simple! First, check your volume (press the + button to turn volume up). Then check the "silent" switch. If the phone is on silent mode it will not speak.


      If you hear the sender and time being spoken but not the email content (or the other way around), you may have a corrupted voice on your phone. Go to Preferences > Voices and choose a different voice. There are two voices you can select - the first one is the Announcer. Scroll down further until you see English Email Reader, and see what is selected. Then choose a different voice and see if that fixes it. 

    • Why does my Gmail login fail when using IMAP?

      Gmail has a security feature where it blocks access to your account if a new app connects to it using standard IMAP security protocols. 


      You have two options:


      1. Use the "Add Gmail Account" button in Speaking Email instead of the "Add Other IMAP/POP Account" button. This uses OAuth2 for increased security.
         
      2. You can change a setting in Gmail to "allow less secure apps" to access your email. This will already be turned on if you use Outlook or Thunderbird, which are also considered "less secure".

    Similar Apps

    • What is the difference between Speaking Email and Out Loud app?

      There have been some good reviews of Out Loud, an Android app that reads your notifications out loud. Out Load speaks email notifications, but not the email content itself.


      Speaking Email is just for email and it lets you listen to the full contents of your email messages (while skipping disclaimers and signatures). It also continuously plays all emails in your inbox, making it a great tool to get up to speed on your latest emails hands free.

    • Why choose Speaking Email over Talkler?

      Talker was the only other talking mail app in the App Store that when we launched Speaking Email. In fact the limitations of Talkler were what inspired us to create a better app in this same category. We think Speaking Email is the best email app that reads your mail to you because:

      • Speaking Email reads HTML email whereas Talker reads plain text versions only (and some emails have no plain version)

      • Talker relies on voice recognition and it often hears itself or interprets noises like moving the phone as commands

      • Speaking Email has fewer commands so is easier to use without looking

      • Speaking Email's gesture recognition is more reliable (eg swipe to next works better)

      • Talkler does not skip email signatures and disclaimers, making email speech very verbose

      • Speaking Email has "ignored senders" allowing you to curate a list of who you want to hear from


      Talkler and Speaking Email are priced about the same, and they both have free versions so you can try them both and see which you think is the best email app for listening to mail. They are both good apps but we (of course!) think Speaking Email is the best app in this category.

    • Why choose Speaking Email over Voice Dream Mail?

      Voice Dream Mail was launched about the same time as Speaking Email, and it provides a similar feature set to Speaking Email, but it has some shortcomings including:

      • No email display - it just displays a blurry version of the email
      • Voice Dream Email recommends that it should not be used while driving, whereas we have designed Speaking Email with driver safety in mind from the get go
      • No email signature detection - you will spend more time listening to email signatures and disclaimers than content
      • Swipe gestures are similar, although sometimes when swiping back Voice Dream Email goes back too far and shows the inbox


      On the other hand, Voice Dream Email shows all mails in an inbox view, which you may want. Speaking Email doesn't have this (we minimise screens and navigation around the app to maintain driver safety). It is exciting to see the market starting to take shape, and we hope you will try this app as well as ours.


      Both Voice Dream Mail and Speaking Email have free versions and are priced about the same for the full versions, so try them both.

    • I use AOLbyPhone but they are shutting it down, is this a replacement?

      AOL are discontinuing their AOLbyPhone service, which reads your email out loud to you via a phone service similar to voice mail. 


      Speaking Email provides this service and is less than half the price of AOLbyPhone.


      We do not offer the ability to reply by taking a voice recording, which AOLbyPhone can do. But we do have several other features that AOLbyPhone lacked, such as attachment speaking, disclaimer and signature skipping, reply thread skipping.


      We have had AOL by Phone users switch over to Speaking Email and be very happy with the change. You can use your existing AOL account and easily compare the difference.

    • Is this the best email app to read me my emails?

      We think Speaking Email is the best text-to-speech email app that you will find for reading your emails to you in 2016.


      We've tried all the iPhone email apps, voice reader apps, voice assistants and talking mail apps on the App Store and Google Play. We realised the need for a great app with a clear focus on simply being the best email reading app, rather than trying to do everything.


      People often ask Siri or Google Now to "read my email" or "read me my emails" but you need a dedicated app to read them properly.


      Even the best email clients such as Outlook and Gmail don't provide text to speech capability. 


      We created this app to read email on iPhone or Android while driving, but it also works for listening to your email anywhere.


      Unlike Siri or Google Now, it does not distract you with voice control or require your attention, but instead provides a great email client using your phone's native text-to-speech capability and a focus on safety while driving. 


      Try it out and see if Speaking Email becomes your favourite new email app.

    • I was using iLane, is this similar?

      iLane was a system for BlackBerry that allowed you to read and write emails by voice. This has now been discontinued, along with BlackBerry handsets. 


      Speaking Email is a great replacement for iLane, if you have an Android or iPhone.


      It does not do all the stuff iLane used to do (such as voice dialing contacts, text messages, calendar, news, sports and weather) but it does read your email out loud much better than iLane. 


      iLane also enabled reply by voice, which would send an audio attachment, which we don't support - but we do support customised single sentence canned replies.