Reading texts out loud (while driving, for example)

Citizen Coyote

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I'm considering jumping on the Pixel train finally as my current phone (2014 Moto X) is starting to get a little wonky. One feature I absolutely adore on my Moto is Moto Voice, and its ability to read incoming texts (and reply) while I'm driving. I've done some searching trying to find a similar feature on the Pixels, but have gotten mixed answers. Some people say Assistant can't read or respond to texts, others say it can reply but not read them, some say you can use Maps to do this, and some just say use Google Search.

So what is it? Anyone have experience with receiving and answering texts while driving with their Pixels?
 

Conrad Gray

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I'm considering jumping on the Pixel train finally as my current phone (2014 Moto X) is starting to get a little wonky. One feature I absolutely adore on my Moto is Moto Voice, and its ability to read incoming texts (and reply) while I'm driving. I've done some searching trying to find a similar feature on the Pixels, but have gotten mixed answers. Some people say Assistant can't read or respond to texts, others say it can reply but not read them, some say you can use Maps to do this, and some just say use Google Search.

So what is it? Anyone have experience with receiving and answering texts while driving with their Pixels?


Hey, I just switched over from the Moto X 2014 (my third Moto X). Just got the Pixel yesterday so I may be unaware of a third party workaround or secret setting but there's no apparent "Talk to me" option.

BUT, there is pick up to wake, double tap to check notifications, double press power for camera and double twist for selfie camera, voice commands with the screen off so the convenience factor is still and comparable.

Other things missing from the Pixel as a long time Moto X user:

- Good speakers (I don't care as I always jam out with external speakers or fancy headphones since I'm an audiophile/musician)

- I miss the double chop for the flashlight, no biggie


The things that surpass the Moto X:
Google assistant is awesome
Camera is miles better
Who the hell knows when Motos are getting 7.0 much less 7.1.1 which is awesome.
Blazing fast speed
Fingerprint recognition
Smaller size is actually a plus. 5.7 is excessive especially if you watch stuff on a tablet anyway.
 

hal1

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Go to the play store. Search 'SMS driving' the first app that comes up, "text voice SMS reader" works perfect for me. The paid version prompts you if you want to respond hands-free also
 

Citizen Coyote

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Go to the play store. Search 'SMS driving' the first app that comes up, "text voice SMS reader" works perfect for me. The paid version prompts you if you want to respond hands-free also

Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to check it out if I find a Pixel in my hands.

And the "I can't read text messages yet" thing is something I'd read before. I suppose the "yet" means there's hope for improvement in the near future. It surprises me that since Moto Voice was developed under Google's watch there's no immediate equivalent on the Pixel.
 

HeavyBombers

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This one is driving me nuts.

The first few days I had my pixel Thanksgiving timeframe...text came in while driving it did not read it to me so I said something like 'read text message from X'. It responded 'I found this message from X' and read it out loud which I thought was pretty cool.

Now I only get the 'I can't do that yet' response. It's like I accidentally stumbled upon the magic words but lost them.

Edit: I use Hangouts with SMS enabled and I'm not sure if I had that configured yet so I've been blaming Hangouts.
 

devilsfl

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Yes, Android Auto works fairly well for this... I came from a Moto X also although lately the texts while driving feature was bothering me, it reads it over the Bluetooth in my Chevy Equinox so the car would take it as a phone call, which meant stopping my music... it was delayed and a pain. Probably the car's fault but still. And I had the 2013 Moto X which was much louder, I could barely hear it ask me to read a text when driving, unless it was over Bluetooth.

But I digress... Android Auto tells you that you have a text, you have to click play message, which I'm not a fan of because I don't want to be looking at the screen. They just added reply by voice/ok google though, before you then had to hit the tiny microphone button.

ETA: I use Audify to read my text messages over my headphones, you can set this up to read over Bluetooth in your car as well, I don't because I don't want them read automatically, there's no, "You've received a text from Bob, would you like to hear it?" It just reads the whole message. I'm always afraid I'm going to get in trouble that way ;)
 

AllThumbz

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Google Assistant on Pixel XL / Android 7.1.1:


This seems really odd since Google purchased Assistant which was a Droid AI application that was supposed to compete against SIRI. I used it for a couple of years. It was able to read and compose texts, search for and call contacts as well as launch programs on your phone (in addition to all of the other things Google lists that their Assistant can do.) So, Google has the capability they have just neutered their app (at least for now).
 

Lilybell2

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Back in the dark ages, before Google spoke and way before Siri made her debut, there was Vlingo. It was great! I used it on my Samsung Infuse. Vlingo's "In Car" mode was great for sending/receiving texts or emails and making calls while driving, and it had other functions as well.

Unfortunately, the company was bought out by Nuance around 2011. Nuance now offers the Dragon Mobile Assistant, which looks like it has a lot of Vlingo's functions, but I haven't tried it.
 

Ry

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Download android auto. Works great.

OP is looking for functionality where the phone detects that you are driving, and when you get a message, it will alert you that there is message, ask you if you want to have the message read to you. All voice. No buttons to press.

Does Android Auto do that now?
 
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OP is looking for functionality where the phone detects that you are driving, and when you get a message, it will alert you that there is message, ask you if you want to have the message read to you. All voice. No buttons to press.

Does Android Auto do that now?

It comes on automatically when my phone connects to my car. It reads messages.
 

TurboCommander

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I have had Pixel for a few weeks. It doesn't automagically detect driving but I have found like others, sometimes it can read texts, sometimes it cannot. I still haven't figured this out. Either a difference based on wether Google Assistant or Google Now is responding. Or maybe Bluetooth headset activated questions like read my recent text messages work but just speaking OK Google doesn't. I haven't really figured it out yet but I have absolutely encountered having it read texts to me then later it says it can't do that yet.
 

billykac

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Google Assistant stopped reading messages while driving - it used to do this.
I am hopeful that Google will bring this back, as it's central to hands-free operation.

I used to be a huge fan of Agent - it used to work great. It went south earlier this year - the Dev went MIA. Maybe it's better now, I see it's been updated. I'll wait for Google to integrate reading messages into Assistant again.
 

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