Field Operations

Getting localized voice guidance in Navigator for ArcGIS on Android

Navigator for ArcGIS on the Android platform currently supports 19 languages. However, you might not automatically receive complete voice-guided directions in your native language on Android devices. Fortunately, you can configure your device to fix this. This blog describes how to do this.

But first we’ll cover a few basics about how receiving localized voice guidance works. A Text to Speech (TTS) engine translates written directions into spoken directions, which is essential for a safe and smooth navigation experience. The quality of this translation will be compromised if:

  1. Your native language is not supported in the TTS engine your device is using
  2. The TTS engine language does not match your device’s language

You will experience the first scenario if your locale language is Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Arabic or Hebrew, and your device is using the TTS engine installed by default on Android devices. You will only hear fragments of directions, even though these languages are supported by the app, and all the text in the app will be in your native language.

The international community commonly experiences these scenarios when using Android apps in general. In Navigator, we’ve provided messages that describe your navigation options if one of these situations applies to you.  After you select Start Navigation in the app, you will see one of these messages depending on your scenario:

  1. You have one TTS engine, and it does not support your locale language
  2. You have one TTS engine, and it does support your locale language
  3. You have more than one TTS engine, and your locale language is not supported by the current engine
  4. You have more than one TTS engine, and your locale language is supported by the current engine

The rest of this blog details each scenario, message, and your choices for navigating. In all cases, you can mute the volume if partial voice guidance is not helpful, and you do not want to change your TTS engine settings. If you do want to change these settings, you can access them on most Android devices by selecting SettingsLanguage & inputText-to-speech output.

1. You have one TTS engine, and it does NOT support your locale language:

For example, if you’re using Google’s default TTS engine and it’s set to English, and your locale language is Hebrew, then you will see the message:

“Hebrew isn’t supported. The app will navigate without voice guidance. You can download a speech engine for your language from the market.”

After you dismiss the message, you can continue to navigate with partial voice guidance, or install another TTS engine that supports Hebrew and will provide complete voice-guided directions.

Note: If you’re using a Samsung device, after you select OK you will see the message “Download high quality voice file. A high-quality voice file will be downloaded for Hebrew. To hear a high-quality TTS voice, download a high-quality voice file.” You can select Cancel and continue to navigate with partial voice guidance, or you can select OK and download a new voice file.

2. You have one TTS engine, and it supports your locale language:

For instance, if you are using Google’s default TTS engine, and it’s set to English, and your locale language is Spanish, then you will see the message:

“Spanish is supported, but text-to-speech doesn’t match your language. You can continue navigating with incomplete voice guidance or you may choose your language.”

You can select Continue and receive incomplete voice directions, or you can select Settings and change the language that the TTS engine is using to Spanish, which will allow you to receive complete directions.

3. You have more than one TTS engine, and your locale language is NOT supported by the current engine:

For example, if you are using Google’s TTS engine, which is set to English, you have another TTS engine on your device, and your locale language is Hebrew, then you will see the message:

“Hebrew isn’t supported by the current speech engine. You can continue navigating without voice guidance or choose another speech engine.”

You can select Without voice and navigate with partial voice-guided directions, or you can choose Settings and switch your TTS engine to the other engine on your device that supports Hebrew and offers complete voice support.

4. You have more than one TTS engine, and your locale language is supported by the current engine:

For example, if you are using Google’s TTS engine which is set to English, you have another TTS engine on your device, and your locale language is Spanish, then you will see the message:

“Spanish is supported, but text-to-speech doesn’t match your language. You can continue navigating with incomplete voice guidance or you may choose your language.”

You can select Continue and receive incomplete voice guidance, or you can select Settings and change the language that Google’s TTS engine is using to Spanish, in which case you will receive complete voice-guided directions. You can also just switch your TTS engine to the other engine on your device that is set to Spanish.

If you have any questions or comments about getting localized voice guidance in Navigator for ArcGIS, reach out to us and the larger Navigator community at https://geonet.esri.com/groups/navigator.


Next Article

Use World Imagery Wayback to create a custom basemap

Read this article