Frequently asked questions
Google only allows 3 types of applications to integrate with Android Auto, and Text To Speech Book Readers is not one of them. As such, we are not allowed to publish an Android Auto enabled version of Evie.
To use Evie in your car, being able to control playback and see information on your car screen, you can use Evie's Android Auto Companion, which is a separate app.
The companion has some limitations. You still cannot use Android Text To Speech engines, but you can use Amazon Polly, which works differently, and does not violate Google's policies.
Evie Android Auto Companion is an Android Auto enabled media player for audio content generated by Evie, using Amazon Polly. The companion only works with Evie and only with Amazon Polly, which is a paid service and requires you to register for an Evie account.
The Companion, will allow you to control Evie's playback from the Android Auto user interface in your car's and see book information and cover art on your car's media screen.
The Companion only works if your car supports Android Auto.
If you are using any speech engine except Amazon Polly, then the engine is not provided by us. It was already installed on your phone or you installed it yourself. Don't forget, Evie is a free app, and does not show any ads. That means we are not making any revenue from such use, and we cannot maintain a technical support team to help you. You can use any engine in Evie, for free, but you are responsible for making it work.
For any problems you may encounter, you can got to Android Settings and try to configure the engine there. Some of the voices will require a one-time download, which you can probably do from Android Settings. All Android version supported by Evie have a Text-to-speech page under Accessibility where you can manage your engines and their voices. Some engines come with an application that allows you to configure them and manage voices.
If your speech engine works in Android Settings -> Accessibility -> Text-to-speech, it will work in Evie too.
Recently we had many cases of speech engines hanging or not allowing voices to be changed. If you encounter this, a restart of your phone will probably fix it.
There could be multiple reasons why this would happen.
To rule out the timer make sure the Sleep Icon is not activated on Evie's widget in the top drawer. The icon is red when the sleep timer is active.
To rule out the Bluetooth case, use the app with a wired headset or the internal speakers for 10 minutes. If it does not stop anymore, then the Bluetooth device was the problem.
If it still stops, then maybe it's the TTS engine or your phone's aggressive energy saving policy. To find out which is it, use the app for 10 minutes with the screen turned on.
If speaking stops even with the screen on, you will see an error message which usually indicates a problem with the speech engine. The message will give you some details. One of the most usual problems is that you are using a Google network voice, and Google's speech engine loses connectivity to the Google servers. You could try a Google local voice instead. Or you could try a different speech engine.
Don't forget, network voices actually render the audio on a server, remotely, so you will need a good Internet connection. If you are on slow cellular data, you may experience longer pauses between sentences, when the app is waiting for the Speech Engine to generate audio.
If reading does not stop with the screen on, turn the screen off, then let Evie read for 10 minutes. If reading stops after a while, then the problem is that Android cuts power to either Evie, or your speech engine. All android versions do that to some degree, some phones being worse than others. Their goal is to save battery by stopping any process that runs in background. Most phones offer options to change this configuration.
Visit your Android settings and allow Evie and the Speech engine to work in background.
Also allow both to use unrestricted data in background. Visit this page for more details: https://evoicereader.com/battery-optimization
This website may have additional tips and tricks for your phone: https://dontkillmyapp.com/
Evie needs to extract the text from PDF to read it out loud.
That is not trivial, as PDF does not contain text arranged in sentences like a Word doc or a text file. It only has graphical symbols, positioned at very precise positions in the page. That works well for viewing the document, or printing it, but it makes text extraction very complicated.
Some documents may have enough information for Evie to use in finding the actual text, but some don't. The text from some docs will be missing or garbled. For those, you will have to use the OCR option.
Even if the PDF is complete, Evie has to rely on the position of the characters on the PDF page to recompose the flow of text. Sometimes Evie cannot find where a word ends and the next one starts, or it may insert line breaks in the middles of sentences. In such cases too, you may have better results using the OCR option.
To make matters worse, headers and footers are not marked as such in PDF, and they seem to be just part of the text. If you want to suppress repetitive or irrelevant text, you can use the Pronunciation Editor in Evie. It allows you to change the way words are pronounced but also to silence text, even entire sentences.
All these problems make PDF text extraction very complicated, hence we always recommend against PDF as a format for reading books in Evie. If you have the option to choose between PDF and EPUB when buying an electronic book, choose EPUB. Also, FB2, DOCX or even TEXT files are better for voice readers than PDF.
If you want, you can also see the original PDF page layout in Evie, images included. Click Page Layout in the Context Menu. Evie will show you the original PDF page.
Evie will not be able to highlight the spoken sentence while in Page Layout mode, but reading out loud will work just as well as it works in Reflow mode. Text extraction will not be improved, but at least you can see the original document.
Various users asked if they can read books from the Kindle app, Google Books app, Overdrive, or any other apps.
Evie cannot read books that you see in another app. Apps do not have access to each other, so Evie does not know what's in your other app, unless that app actively sends the file to Evie. If you see a Send To or Share To button or menu in the the other app, you can send it to Evie.
If you don't see such a button, use this Rule Of Thumb:: if you have the actual file and you can, for example, attach it to an email, then you could also open it in Evie.
Evie can read the following file types: EPUB, PDF, MOBI, AZW/AZW3, FB2, FB2ZIP, DOCX, RTF, HTML, and TEXT files, as long as they are not DRM locked.
Android phones have several Audio Channels and each one is handled differently by your phone. Music goes to one channel, notifications to another, ring tones to another, and so on. Each manufacturer makes use of these channels slightly differently too, making it impossible to have one configuration that fits all devices..
Open Evie, go to Preferences, find the one called Audio Channel. That allows you to control which channels will be used by Evie. Try a different channel, see if it works better on your device.
If you use a headset, please also try with the phone speakers or with a different headset, the problem could be with the headset, not with the app.
Also, if the problem started occurring at some point, after it worked well for a while, it could be worth rebooting your phone. That might fix it.
Several studies found that fonts like Dyslexie or Open Dyslexic do not bring any improvement to ease of reading or reading speed.
Other studies found that the best results are actually observed when using a mono-spaced font.
For this reason, Evie includes a monospaced font option along with the serif / non-serif fonts.
Evie does not have access to your device. Unlike other apps, Evie does not request the permission to access your SD card. We value your privacy and we do not request any permission whatsoever.
That means Evie can only read files when you allow it to access them. When you click a button to open a file in Evie or to scan your device for books, Evie delegates the operation to the Android File Picker, which returns a temporary permission which allows Evie to read a file or a folder but only at that moment.
Evie will not be able to read the same file or folder later, and this is good. Generally, you do not want (should not want) apps to be able to read whatever files they please, whenever they feel like it.
For that reason, Evie makes a copy of the books you want to read to its internal folder. The plus side is that you will be able to open Evie later and continue reading without having to select the file from the SD card again. But the downside is that the file takes up additional space on your device.
This is the reason we recommend not adding a lot of file to Evie. You should do that only with the files you intend to read in the near future. Evie is not a library manager. Think of its library as more of a reading list.
If you have a lot of books and documents on your device, you can manage them using a File Manager application.
When you open a file, android asks "Which app do you want to use to open it?", and offers two choices: "Just once" and "Always".
If you click "Always", then your phone will not ask anymore, and will open PDF files with Evie from then on. This can happen with any of the file types supported by Evie, like EPUB, DOCX, so on.
You can later change this behavior from Evie's App Info page in Android.
Look for the section called "Open By Default" and then a button called "Clear Default Preferences."