Here’s whether Speechify is safe to use:
By most accounts, Speechify is perfectly safe.
It’s a well-documented company that provides a software-based service for turning text into speech.
Speechify has no known association with Malware of any type, and it does not expose your devices to undue external risks.
That said, any software comes with some risks.
So if you want to learn all about how safe it is to use Speechify, then this article is for you.
Let’s get started!
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What Is Speechify?
Speechify is a software-based service provider that lets you listen to text.
Basically, it can read texts on your device for you and speak them aloud.
It’s useful for students who might have trouble with pronunciations or reading challenges like dyslexia.
It can prove convenient for people who want to multitask.
In reality, it can be used however you want, but it’s all focused on the same concept.
It enables your device to read aloud to you.
How Does Speechify Work?
Speechify uses a proprietary algorithm to decipher letters and pictures in order to convert them into vocal speech.
An electronic speaking voice then uses the speakers on your device to read things aloud to you.
The software can read just about anything you might want:
It’s not important to get into the nuts and bolts of how the software works.
What matters more is how Speechify interacts with customers.
Namely, this is software as a service (more on that in a sec).
Speechify is a legitimate, registered company trying to provide a service for a fee. That’s the bulk of what you need to know.
Software as a Service
Speechify is built on the concept of software as a service.
Essentially, the company provides apps that do the work of reading words to users, but everything is run through accounts.
The paid account has multiple tiers and options.
You select what you want, and while you maintain your account, you get access to the software.
You can use the software on multiple devices.
It is available for desktop and mobile computing, making it fairly usable.
Each device does need to install the app in order to use Speechify, and if the account is ever terminated, access to the apps will be cut off.
In other words, Speechify requires a subscription in order for you to use it.
One of the points that Speechify tries to emphasize is that the software is able to read words off of pictures.
This is partially how it has been marketed as a learning assistance tool.
You can take a picture of words with your phone (assuming the app is installed).
Speechify will then identify the words in the picture and read them to you.
In this way, students can have textbooks read to them.
You can do it with receipts, signs in public, or just about anything else you can imagine with words on it.
This separates Speechify from older text-to-speech platforms that struggled with identifying words in pictures.
It also opens up a lot of possibilities for how you choose to use the app.
Is Speechify Safe? (4 Things)
At this point, you get the gist of what Speechify is trying to do and how it works.
That might help you paint a picture of how safe the software is for use, but there are more things that are worth considering.
For instance, does Speechify collect personal data from you?
What do they do with it?
Are the connections secure?
Here’s the short answer first.
Speechify is par for the course when compared to other tech companies. They definitely collect data from you.
You know that because you have to give them your name and credit card in order to sign up.
They work hard to protect secure information, but some of your user data is shared with other parties, including other tech companies.
We’ll get deeper into that in a bit.
As for security, Speechify is competent in this regard.
They’re using the same techniques to secure your connections as most tech services, and those techniques are fairly reliable (that’s how they became industry standards).
Ok. Let’s dive deeper into these concepts and cover some that I haven’t mentioned yet.
#1 Understanding Speechify’s Free Trial
Looking at reviews, one of the most frequent complaints with Speechify is the free trial and automatic billing, so let’s break it down in detail.
Speechify offers a blanket free trial to anyone.
The trial lasts for three days.
At the end of that period, the account will automatically bill you for renewal.
You can cancel before that happens, and you won’t be billed.
But, you won’t be prompted when the free trial ends. Renewal is automatic.
This is why you have to provide credit card information in order to start your free trial.
If you forget to cancel the trial, Speechify is not obligated to issue a refund.
The terms are spelled out on the sign-up page.
Here’s the part that really needs your attention.
Even though Speechify explains the service payments in monthly terms, the automation bills you for a full year at a time.
You won’t get a small monthly payment at the end of your free trial.
Instead, you’ll get a bill for $139 USD, assuming you’re set up for the standard service tier.
This process will automatically renew every 12 months unless you cancel it.
Now, there are other trials that exist.
Speechify has done promotions for educators and students, and those might last for different periods.
But, if you have a free trial, you should expect an automatic bill when the trial ends, unless you cancel your subscription before that happens.
#2 Risks of Text to Speech
Outside of unexpected bills, any text-to-speech app is going to come with a minor risk.
The software isn’t perfect.
That means that what you hear might not actually be what is written.
This can lead to miscommunication, and depending on how you use the app, that could come with different levels of consequence.
A small flub when you’re reading a novel won’t matter much.
But, if the app misunderstands a business-critical email, that could lead to expensive problems that are hard to overcome.
Here’s the solution.
Use Speechify with things that aren’t so important to get used to it.
That way, you can have a reasonable expectation as to how reliable it is, and you’ll know when you shouldn’t blindly trust the text to speech.
And, keep in mind that this applies to all such apps, not just Speechify.
#3 Storing Data
On a completely different note, Speechify is able to read text.
If you use it to read emails to you, then the app is literally reading your emails.
Is that cause for concern?
That’s up to you, but a few important details can help you understand what is at stake.
First, Speechify doesn’t record the information that it reads to you.
This isn’t necessary for the app to work, and recording that volume of information would be very expensive.
Really, it’s not worth the cost for Speechify to go about this.
That said, Speechify does record and store some information related to you and how you use the app.
Speechify has to store your financial information in order to process payments.
They use industry standards to secure that information, so you can decide how you feel about that.
Speechify also does normal tech stuff when it comes to tracking information.
They log how much you use the app.
The app stores information for connecting to the internet (mostly so you don’t have to manually log in every time you use the app).
It also logs cookies and potentially stores information related to your contacts.
On top of collecting this data, Speechify shares it.
Primarily, the data is shared with their main advertising partners: Facebook and Google.
Once more for emphasis.
Speechify does NOT record what it reads to you.
Instead, it collects and shares the same kinds of data as all of the other tech services you use.
#4 Internet Usage
Here’s the final major concern tied to Speechify. It uses the internet.
Now, that’s not a major security risk.
Speechify uses standard encryption methods, so it’s not entirely easy for bad people to hack into your Speechify app or internet transmission.
No, the concern here is with monitoring data usage.
The most advanced speech tools on Speechify require a constant internet stream.
This is pretty normal for powerful software.
Speechify uses fairly advanced machine learning in order to decipher letters and images into the words that it reads to you.
Most phones would struggle with trying to run even a fraction of those calculations.
So, when you’re using the advanced stuff, the images are sent to the Speechify servers.
They figure out what the words are, and then instructions are sent back to your device to be read to you.
This involves constant internet usage.
If you have strict data limits, you’ll want to pay attention to how much is consumed by Speechify.
Similarly, if you struggle to have enough bandwidth to do everything you want on your internet service, Speechify can consume some of that bandwidth and complicate things.
Lastly, all of this consumes energy.
If you’re running Speechify on mobile, it can drain your battery faster.
This is especially true if you use it when you have a weak internet signal.
These are all things to keep in mind, but they don’t make Speechify explicitly dangerous.