Speaking Email

Listen to email safely while driving with our iPhone and Android apps

Speaking Email app voted ‘most fundable’ by Context.IO

In October we entered a 3-month online hackathon sponsored by Context.IO which aimed to recognise apps that are doing interesting things with email.

The timing coincided pretty nicely with our product launch.

We are stoked to have our entry voted “most fundable” and given an honourable mention in the awards!

Our thanks to the Context.IO team for making the great platform we made use of to provide the backend service for Speaking Email, and for giving us this recognition.



Daily agenda

I had this great idea for a feature for us to build into speaking.email. Wouldn’t it be cool if you started driving to work, and very helpfully, Speaking Email would read out your days’ agenda. That way, you could be heading to work, and Speaking Email would pipe up and tell you about a meeting you have in 20 minutes, in the other direction!

Anyway, it turns out that Gmail Calendar already has this feature. It will send you an email that Speaking Email will read out to you, while driving.

Everyone go and get it!



How do you handle the commute?

by Jeremy Nicholls, Speaking Email co-conspirator

jeremy in car

Over the years I’ve come up with lots of coping strategies to deal with the daily commute. I’ve tried music, but I only had one tape. I’ve tried calling someone for a chat, but they are usually also driving or busy – plus it’s hard to get the microphone setup right. Luckily gadgets have come a long way since the tape deck. I’ve had great success with audio books, and more recently podcasts on my phone. It was pretty hard in the early days of my palm 5 and windows ce clamshell type devices, but these days with Android and iPhone things are a bit easier for everyone. I’ve had the privilege to be right in the heart of seeing how these devices work, and how apps are built for them, being a programmer since the 90’s (oh man!)

Now, with our Speaking Email app, it feels good to be able to provide one more solution to the commute problem. The idea is that you get in the car, put your phone in the cradle, check your Bluetooth is talking to the car (or headset / hands free system) then open Speaking Email and start driving. You can catch up with your emails that came in over the weekend – just like you are listening to the radio or a podcast. When it runs out of email to read, it will wait until something comes in, then read that. Really good for making sure you’re right up to date before you get to work. If you have your phone mounted in a cradle, you can do a ‘2 touch’ reply to someone – e.g. press reply, then choose a canned reply you set up earlier such as ‘we need to discuss that’.

I’d be keen to hear if you have had a similar experience trying to get some useful time back during your commute. Have you had any other success with getting stuff done while multitasking – and does speaking email fit into your work day? We are really keen to improve it too, so tell me if you can see ways to change and enhance it and we can help you make your commute better.

Beweb email-reading app trumps ‘pretty crap’ apps – Interview with Paul Henry on TV3

I was on TV just before the PM, had to stand next to him quietly in the wings while waiting to go on. Paul Henry said he thought the idea was fantastic, said it could be the start of a billion dollar company, and wished me all the best. Was quite a rush! 

A Kiwi web company has invented an app which reads your emails out loud to you while you’re driving. Beweb designed Speaking Email to help drivers who are tempted to keep across their work emails on the commute to work.

View on the TV3 website

Paul Henry interviews Mike Nelson about Speaking Email

NZ Herald on Sunday – ‘Hi, this is your email calling … Drive safely’

A beautiful sunny Sunday to have a beer and read the paper with Speaking Email featured 

Kiwi app lets motorists listen to emails as they drive. A Kiwi company has developed an app that allows drivers to listen to emails at the wheel. Beweb created the free Speaking Email app after director Mike Nelson got frustrated at being unable to safely read emails on his commute from Auckland’s North Shore to the city.

And though he admits drivers shouldn’t have any distractions, he said banning cellphones while driving wasn’t working. Rather than expecting drivers to ignore their phones, apps should be designed with a “safe-driving” mode.

Read more on NZ Herald→

Drive safely with Speaking Email app for iPhone and Android

HEY! STOP EMAILING WHILE DRIVING! Use this new app instead – Idealog

NZ’s leading venture, tech and innovation magazine wrote a hilarious article featuring us!

From Idealog

HEY! STOP EMAILING WHILE DRIVING! Use this new app instead

Police around the country have been cracking down on driver distraction this week. The Herald reports that Auckland Police have pulled over a man texting on two cell phones while steering with his knees, a man texting with one hand and drinking a beer with the other, and a woman texting while driving three children and towing a horse in a float.

But in this always-on/always-connected society, so many of us just feel the need to maximise every second, multi-tasking our multi-tasking. So, if you can’t stand being away from your email while you’re driving to work, there’s a new app that’ll keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

Speaking Email, is a new app that reads your email to you while you drive. “It’s just like having a radio station with your inbox in it,” says Speaking Email’s CEO and developer, Mike Nelson.


Email-reading app for drivers – Australian Associated Press

Australian’s are waking up to Speaking Email

From Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and let loose around Australian media…

A New Zealand company has developed a phone app which it hopes will reduce drivers’ phone distraction by reading out emails – until perhaps it reads you the one from the Nigerian prince which will make you a millionaire. Web development company beweb’s first app is Speaking Email, designed after director Mike Nelson said he couldn’t find one to help him on his daily commute from Auckland’s North Shore.

With police cracking down on drivers illegally using their mobile phones, he says more such apps should be designed for driving.

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