Spiel is the most highly configurable screen reader for the Android operating system. However, it does not have official user documentation, which often makes it difficult for beginners to master all its features. Many menu items are accompanied by special prompts, but, as practice shows, they are also not always enough to explain certain settings.

Below we will describe all the settings of the Spiel program, which can be accessed after installing the Accessibility Preferences application and selecting the “Spiel Preferences” item in its menu.

Section “Speech”

This section contains the settings of the program that have one or another relation to the speech output of information.

Speech engine

The item is available only when the “Only my settings” checkbox is unchecked in the TTS system settings.

When you click, a list of voice engines available in the system opens, where you can select the one that the user wants to use not in the entire system, namely in the Spiel program.

Thus, you can assign different voices to display screen information through Spiel and some functions that use the system speech synthesis service.

Speed ​​scale

Tooltip: Factor by which the default speed will be increased

The item is available only when the “Only my settings” checkbox is unchecked in the TTS system settings.

When pressed, an edit field opens, in which you can enter the coefficient by which the standard speed of the speech synthesizer will be changed.

The coefficient accepts fractional values, where the dot sign is used as the decimal separator.

If the coefficient is greater than zero, but less than one, then the speed will slow down. If more than one, then proportionally accelerate.

For correction to be possible, the speech synthesizer used must support the function of changing the speech rate.

Voice Pitch Scale

Tooltip: Factor by which the default voice pitch will be increased

The item is available only when the “Only my settings” checkbox is unchecked in the TTS system settings.

When pressed, an edit field opens, in which you can enter the coefficient by which the standard voice pitch of the speech synthesizer will be changed.

The coefficient accepts fractional values, where the dot sign is used as the decimal separator.

If the coefficient is greater than zero, but less than one, then the height will decrease. If more than one, then proportionally increase.

For correction to be possible, the speech synthesizer used must support the pitch bend function.

Speak input by character

A familiar option for screen readers to echo input. When enabled, reads aloud characters entered in edit fields.

Speak input by words

A familiar option for screen readers to echo input. When enabled, it provides the reading aloud of the words entered in the editing fields, which are taken as text segments separated by spaces and punctuation marks.

Announce notifications even when the screen is off

The option is responsible for reading aloud system notifications. When this checkbox is activated, the device will speak aloud notification center information even when the display is off.

Use Bluetooth SCO

Tooltip: Forward non-call audio to SCO Bluetooth headphones (in testing phase!)

When this option is enabled, Spiel starts using the SCO Bluetooth headphones to output synthesizer speech.

Unlike A2DP, SCO is a low quality audio protocol used primarily in hands-free telephone headsets. For Spiel users, this feature can be useful in situations where it is required to separate the synthesizer’s speech from other extraneous sounds.

The feature is still under development and may not work on some devices.

Setting up a punctuation announcement

Tooltip: Pass Spiel a declaration of some unhandled punctuation

An option responsible for transferring the processing of some punctuation marks directly to the Spiel program. It can be useful in cases when the used speech synthesizer does not correctly process this category of characters, or pronounces them in a foreign language.

Mute non-speech audio

Tooltip: Decrease the volume of music, games, etc. during voice messages

This option provides the functionality to automatically mute the system sounds when Spiel speaks a phrase. For example, this can be useful when working in music applications or games with audio design.

Text-to-speech settings

Tooltip: Setting system-wide text-to-speech properties

When you click on this item, the user automatically enters the system settings menu for speech synthesis, which is located along the path “Settings \ Voice. input and output \ Text-to-speech settings “.

Section “Notifications”

This section contains the program settings that are responsible for Spiel notifications.

Talking Caller ID

Tooltip: Announce with repeating caller ID message during incoming call

When this option is enabled, Spiel, when a call comes in, periodically announces information about the call, which is not always possible to read manually from the screen.

Answering machine notifications

Tooltip: Notify with repeat of new available autoresponder messages

When this option is enabled, Spiel, in the presence of incoming voicemail messages, periodically announces information about available unread messages, since the standard graphic icon is usually unavailable.

Section “Sensors”

Tooltip: Configuring Physical Event Actions

This section focuses on setting up Spiel’s reactions to physical events detected by motion and proximity sensors. This is the main way to quickly interact with Spiel without opening the program menu.

The following response options are available:

  1. Nothing: Spiel ignores the designated physical event.
  2. Stop Speech: Spiel interrupts the synthesizer’s speech.
  3. Create a script template for the last accessibility event: Spiel creates a template on the memory card for the last AccessibilityEvent registered in the system, which can later be used to write scripts.
  4. Turn Spiel on or off: Starts and unloads the Spiel program.

The third point is intended for Spiel script programmers and is not of significant interest to ordinary users, unless the subsequent transfer of the generated template to the appropriate specialist is expected.

When shaken

Tooltip: Assign the action to be performed when shaking the device

For the function to work, the device must be equipped with an accelerometer.

The item contains the above list of possible actions, where you can select the one that Spiel will perform in response to shaking the device.

When approaching

Tooltip: Assign an action to be taken when the proximity sensor detects anything near the device

For the function to work, the device must be equipped with a proximity sensor.

The item contains the above list of possible actions, where you can select the one that Spiel will perform in response to the proximity sensor triggering. As a rule, it is located on the front panel of the device closer to the speaker intended for a telephone conversation.

Section “Scripts”

The section contains standard and custom scripts for the Spiel program and is designed to control them directly from the device.

Debugging section

This section contains settings related to various aspects of Spiel debugging and is intended mainly for developers of the program itself and its scripts.

Send backtrace when Spiel crashes

Tooltip: Automatically send anonymous bug reports every time Spiel crashes (requires restart)

The flag is responsible for sending reports to the server about program failures that led to its crash. As it is clear from the prompt, a restart of Spiel is required to save the change to this setting.

If outgoing traffic of several hundred bytes is critical, and the program is prone to frequent crashes, then this checkbox can be unchecked. However, it should be remembered that disabling this setting will prevent program developers from finding out the possible causes of failures and fixing them in the future.

It is important to note that no personal information is included in the reports, therefore the operation of this function does not threaten the user’s anonymity.

If possible, it is advisable to leave the sending of reports enabled, as this helps to improve the program.

Profiling

Tooltip: Enable for development only as it impacts performance!

This mode is intended for debugging Spiel and is made exclusively for program developers.

It diagnoses how long various functions take to process data between receiving parameters and issuing return values. Since the Spiel code includes many functions, enabling their diagnostics can significantly slow down the entire screen reader, especially on devices with relatively low performance.

For ordinary users who are not involved in the development and optimization of Spiel code, this feature is not of any interest, and they should not turn on profiling mode.

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