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Tweetspeaker is a fun diversion from your everyday Twitter app

Maybe it's just me, but I love it when my machines talk to me. If my Mac could read the news when I woke up, tell me the temperature, and so on, wouldn't it be like a real personal assistant? Well, Tweet Speaker (US$2.99, App Cubby Software) is like your own little robotic reader for your Twitter feed. How does it work? Surprisingly well, with a few quirks inherent to text-to-voice translations.

Tweet Speaker is beautifully designed, with wood grain and a logical layout. The interface is similar to a radio, but instead of a dial you're looking at a timeline, and you can start "playing" your timeline with a play button to hear the iPhone's built-in voice read your Twitter streams. Tweet Speaker allows you to pick specific feeds as well, like mentions, or any lists you have set up. You can add multiple accounts and you can change the speed at which the streams are read (the speed of the voice).

While more voices are "coming soon," the built-in male voice is perfectly usable. Tweet Speaker is smart enough to read the name associated with a Twitter handle, so instead of reading "superpixels" in my case, it would read "Victor Agreda Jr" and so forth. Plus, the app reads RT as "retweet" and manages to interpret a few other common abbreviations and other Twitter quirks (like hashtags). It will also take shortened links and read the headline associated with them, which is most helpful.

There can be some unintentionally hilarious moments with Tweet Speaker, and I'm not just talking about how it reads cursing with aplomb -- job is pronounced like the biblical person Job, for example. And the app did crash on me once or twice. Still, hearing "Engadget says..." followed by the latest headlines and links is a lot of fun. It's also pretty useful if you drive a lot or just can't look at your screen. With support for Tweet Markers and Airplay, Tweet Speaker actually goes beyond mere novelty and can be a fun, efficient way to listen to your Twitter feeds without having to stare at a screen.

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