Is Speech Services by Google Necessary? Can You Delete It?

Is Speech Services by Google Necessary

Smartphones have always shipped with unnecessary apps installed, which can be aggravating and time-consuming to remove or disable. While some have novelty purposes, such as the AR Emoji app, others can actually be helpful, such as Speech Services by Google. But if you don’t use any text-to-speech services, how do you remove the app from your phone? Is Speech Services by Google necessary?

Speech Services by Google cannot be deleted or uninstalled, but you can disable it since it is not necessary. You can also clear its storage and cache if you need the storage space on your phone. Because it is part of the Google Mobile Services embedded within Android, deleting the app is simply not possible.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t stop Speech Services by Google from performing data-consuming actions or using your phone’s processing power. If you want to know how to conserve space and data instead of letting the app operate independently, keep reading.

Can You Uninstall Speech Services by Google?

You cannot uninstall Speech Services by Google; it doesn’t even have an uninstall button. The most you can do is to “Force Stop” the app if it’s running or “Disable” it completely. Disabling the app stops it from functioning and hides it from view, but it’s still installed somewhere in your system.

Why keep the app around if it’s not being used? That’s because Speech Services by Google, formerly known as Google Text-to-Speech, is part of the Android Accessibility Suite. [1] The app powers everything that uses any text-to-speech or speech-to-text function, such as searching with your voice on Google Maps or asking your eReader app to read aloud to you.

Not all hope is lost, however. You can disable the app even if you can’t completely remove it. If you want to stop Speech Services by Google, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings, then Apps.
  • Click “See all apps” to get a list of all your installed apps.
  • Keep scrolling down until you see “Speech Services by Google”. Click on it.
  • You should have two buttons: “Disable” and “Force stop”. Click “Disable”.
    • A warning message will appear informing you of what might happen when you disable the app. Click “Disable app” to proceed or “Cancel” if you want to keep it running.

How to Use Speech Services by Google?

There are multiple ways to use Speech Services by Google. The step will depend on whether you want items read aloud to you or if you want the phone to transcribe what you said.

If you want to use the text-to-speech feature, go to Settings, then Accessibility. From there, you’ll have two options:

  • TalkBack – A voice reads everything on the screen for you
  • Select to Speak – A voice will read whatever section of the screen you select

Do you want to change the text-to-speech output? You need to go to Settings, Accessibility, then select “Text-to-speech output”. From there, you can change the output language, speech rate to make it go faster or slower, and pitch to make the voice sound lower or higher.

Here’s another use you might not know about: you can use Select to Speak as a quick translator. If you’re reading text and you want it translated to English or another language, simply highlight that text. Speech Services by Google will read it aloud, but in the language you selected in the settings.

The translation trick also works if you have the Google Lens app. [2] Just point the camera at the text you want to translate, and Speech Services will read it to you in your selected language. It’s handy when you want to know how to pronounce something or to find out what the phrase means.

On the other hand, using the speech-to-text feature on your device automatically uses Speech Services by Google for voice input. You can observe this when you search on Google Maps using your voice or when you dictate text messages to your phone. Other apps that provide transcription services also use Speech Services by Google as the voice input.

Can You Clear Data of Speech Services by Google?

You can safely clear the data of Speech Services by Google on your phone. This is helpful if you’re running low on storage space and are looking for things to delete. Here are the steps to clear the app’s data:

  • Go to Settings, then Apps.
  • Click “See all apps” to get a list of all your installed apps.
  • Keep scrolling down until you see “Speech Services by Google”. Click on it.
  • Click “Storage & cache”, which is three options below the “Disable” and “Force stop” buttons.
  • Click “Clear storage” and “Clear cache”. Once you’re done, the numbers under “Space used” should decrease.

Keep in mind that clearing the app’s data also removes every single update for it, so you’ll have to update Speech Services by Google again if you re-enable it in the future.

  • Franceen enjoys her wide range of interests - gaming, tech, aviation, railway - with a book or a controller on one hand and a steaming cup of tea on the other. When she's not busy typing away on her keyboard, you'll find her playing video games with her husband.