VSNotifications reads your incoming iOS notifications

By , Jan 21, 2013

VSNotifications

VSNotifications is a jailbreak utility which has been available for a few months. The tweak allows a jailbroken device running iOS 5 or higher to read out incoming notifications through a Siri-like voice synthesizer. With VSNotifications you can receive messages without even having to see the screen.

It’s not hard to see how the tweak could be useful. When you’re driving, VSNotifications is a great way to stay connected to your messages without breaking laws or endangering others on the road. The tweak could also make a jailbroken iPhone more useful to the visually impaired, or people who just like having their notifications read to them…

With VSNotifications enabled, the voice synthesizer will read out your incoming notifications. You have the option of setting VSNotifications to read the title line, the message content, or both, as well as  the option to disable notification banners and the standard alert chime. There are also options for playing custom messages in certain situations, such as after closing an app or reading an alert… but I don’t find them to be that useful.

The voice synthesizer sounds robotic, but it is fluent enough that both the names and the content of the messages come through clearly. In terms of raw usability, VSNotifications is almost perfect; my only complaint is it seems to ignore the mute switch.

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Though I tested VSNotifications on an iPad, the software also works with the iPhone and iPod touch.

In addition to reading your incoming messages, VSNotifications comes with plugins for SBSettings and Activator. One plugin, called VSActivator Service calls up an alert dialog; whatever you write into the text bar, VSActivator will read it out loud. The other plugin, VSToggle, enables or disables the voice notifications.

If you want to use VSNotifications with Activator, I would recommend setting VSToggle to Wired HeadsetConnected and Disconnected. With these settings, VSToggle will be enabled whenever you plug your device into speakers or headphones, and will disable when you remove the connection; this way it won’t constantly read out your notifications from your pocket. If you use a dock in your car, you could also set VSNotifications to PowerConnected and Disconnected.

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Our readers will point out that isn’t the only option for having your notifications read to you – Jeff posted an excellent video review of SpeakEvents last February. While some of the other options have more features, VSNotifications costs nothing and is simple enough to use. All you need to do is install VSNotifications from the BigBoss repository on Cydia, and then enable the tweak in Settings.

One last note: Be careful with the volume of your device when you first install VSNotifications, as the developer included a spoken message that activates automatically during the installation process. This could be embarrassing if you’re installing the tweak at the office or in class, and we would have been happy not to have heard it.

Would you find VSNotifications useful? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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  • jose castro

    nice but that weird that jeffs not doing his awesome videos? what gives? he is the best at this.

  • http://twitter.com/xXJeanmarchpXx JeanMarc

    There is several tweaks that do the same already

  • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

    Title speak was the best but these tweaks are annoying after a while. A friend sent a text reading “call me fucker.” and it went of while I was with a customer. The mute switch didn’t work with the tweaks. The customer laughed so it was fine.

  • ExRoot

    There is no way in hell I want my texts, emails or anything else read out in public. Jeez!

    • http://Michaelschnier.tumblr.com Michael Schnier

      That’s exactly why you want to use SBSettings and Activator-compatible toggles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.higgins.12 Brandon Higgins

    Would there be a setting for it to only speak with headphones in? That would be useful

  • disqus_AZVrJdcstY

    nice article, but in my opinion, I really don’t see the many benefits to having notifications read aloud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shingo.hoshino Shingo Hoshino

    ALOUD is lots better!

    • http://www.facebook.com/djfranmoreno D J Fran Moreno

      Exactly.. ALOUD has Spanish and other languajes…

      • tggt00

        WOW.. languajes…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    seems cool but i will pass

  • http://twitter.com/Mupko Mirko zenker

    I have purchased from publicationdate!
    And I also wanted to mute the tweak! So I ask the Developer in Twitter! This is the answer:

    Just open the app switcher, swipe left and decrease the volume from there. VSNOTIFICATIONS USES THE OTHER VOLUME NOT THE RINGER ONE