Hands off readers, rejoice.
This rather robotic sounding voice has been part of Android since 4.0 ICS was officially released in October 2011, but until today the only way to get an update was to wait for the device maker to post an official firmware or to find and install a third party firmware (or wait for someone to post an illicit APK which they copied off of their Android device).
With this new release Google is saving us the effort of skulking around and/or waiting for an official update that might never come. This will come as great news for many people using their smartphone as a hands-free reader, a group that includes more than just the visually impaired but also anyone who needs to keep their hands free for other activities.
TBH this won’t affect me much; I much prefer the Ivona voices. They’re much more realistic than the stock voice supplied by Google. I also tend to use the Kindle Fire HD more, and it ships with them as stock.