Announce email when it arrives while I'm driving

Speaking Email FAQ | Home | All FAQs

Q: Can emails be read aloud to me as they are received?

A: Many people ask this question. This is not the main purpose of the app (which is listening to your inbox), but it is possible to configure Speaking Email CarPlay to read out email when it arrives, although this only works when the app is in the foreground.


If this functionality continued after the app went into the background, there would be no way to stop it happening when you didn't want it, after you reach your destination or when you have a passenger. Also due to Apple limitations, speech recognition cannot be invoked from a background app, and other apps may be using the audio so there are problems with functioning in background mode (to get technical: apps like Google Maps can interrupt long form audio with a short announcement, but our app is classified as long form audio so is not allowed to interrupt other apps). We have made it so the phone will not go to sleep while the app is active, so if you leave the app open in reading mode it will not go into the background automatically.


By default the app reads out the latest 250 emails in your inbox, then stops and waits for new email to arrive. It will stop on the “end screen”, and read out new email it arrives. If you go into preferences you can tell it to avoid reading the latest 250 and only read out mail if it is new.


In preferences there are a couple of different options to choose from depending on what you want. They are under “email sorting and filtering”. 
1. Play only new email since launch - this will not play any email at first and just go straight to the end screen and wait for new email from now on.
2. Play only unread emails - before going to the end screen, this will read any email that has not been marked as read (including on other email clients). It works well if you set the option to automatically mark as read when played (under "auto play options").
3. Play only unplayed - if you prefer not to muck with read and unread, this option simply tells Speaking Email CarPlay to play any emails that it has not already played to you before going to the end screen. 


Additionally, the app can pause after announcing the sender and subject, allowing you to say "play" or "next" before reading out the full email. This option can be set under "auto play options". 


Also, if you get a new incoming email while you are listening through your inbox, the new email will be inserted in the next slot, so will be read out soon after it arrives, rather than waiting till you get to the end screen. 

What is Speaking Email CarPlay?

An app for iPhone and Apple CarPlay that reads your email out loud to you. It intelligently extracts content from emails (minus the signatures, disclaimers and threads). And it lets you action your email - archive, mark-as-read, trash, flag - using the CarPlay interface controls. It works Office 365 and Gmail email accounts, as well as most other providers including any standard IMAP server.


Who is it for?

People who are busy and run out of time to get through their inbox. People who want to make productive use of time when driving between appointments.


What if I don't have CarPlay?

See our other product Speaking Email for iPhone and Android for anyone who doesn't have CarPlay.


Is is free?

Yes it is free to download and you can do a lot with the free version. Free features: 

  • Email text-to-speech (TTS) with smart content detection (this is awesome, you will be blown away!)
  • CarPlay buttons next/prev, archive, flag, delete


Do I have to upgrade?

Nope, but you can upgrade for: 

  • Multiple accounts
  • Attachment reading
  • Voice commands (you will love this!)
  • Dictation - reply/forward/compose (you will love this even more!)



Find out more