End of Groovy and Big Talker


With the end of groovy ( The End of Groovy Has Arrived - Announcements - SmartThings Community), is this also the end of Big Talker?

I know ST has a somewhat similar feature but the voices are horrible, and works like crap.

Big Talker is easily my favorite smartapp, and very useful. Is this smartapp officially dead when they pull the plug?

Yep, dead… Down the gutters…

Sharptools.io might have some clever way to do the same. So tagging @joshua_lyon.

But for sure all your chance is the official RulesAPI and Routine builder.

You can try to build a SmartApp as well, outside of the IDE’s platform, but for that you need to host it by yourself and need to have access to Amazon’s Poly as the source of the text-to-speech.

Sorry for the disappointing news!

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And just for your information, the same will happen with many really useful SmartApps as well.

Like Advanced Button Controller (ABC), the Google Spreadsheet or InfluxDB logger if those are still working.


What the Routines offer with TTS and what the API can actually do are very different. Unfortunately the public API doesn’t document/offer the required actions.

Thanks for the reply. It is really too bad. I’m going to miss hearing ‘the mail has arrived’ and a myriad of other cool things I have working with this.

I wish I didn’t have so many devices, rules, and automations. I couldn’t imagine the time it would take to migrate to another platform.

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If you have echo devices, it’s quite easy to set up announcements for them using echo routines (not ST routines). I have one friend who mostly uses Google home, but does have two echo dots used just for voice announcements. :sunglasses:

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We switched over to Google about a year ago, Amazon got ridiculous with its “by the way” stuff after every interaction… and then something on their end broke after working for eons it couldn’t complete simple commands like ‘turn off x light’ half the time.

We kept one Amazon device but I removed its access to ST… I did try using their voice for automations but I have to say Big Talker by far has the best , most pleasant voices to choose from. Echo is cold.

I do appreciate the reply.

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This may not seem much different to you, but if you are in the US, you can choose between a female (original) or a male (new) Alexa voice.

Some countries also give you a choice of accents. In the US you can choose between the original female voice or a female UK voice.

So right now in the US you have three choices: female US, female UK, or male US. You might like one more than the others.

There are also celebrity voices, but they can’t do the text to speech functions so don’t apply to this particular use case.

To switch between male and female, just say “Alexa, change your voice” to any echo device.

To change the accent, you have to go into device settings in the app and look under “language.”

In Home Assistant if you use it with the Nabu Casa subscription, the Google text-to-voice languages are included and it can do that to any speaker what it supports. I know it works with Google Home devices and Sonos speakers as well.

I don’t use it too much, but I believe you can add other text-to-voice services as well.

All these services what SmartThings cuts will be a huge pile of money not spent. Plus the servers what they spare running the Groovy stuff…

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You could use the APIs that @orangebucket mentioned in a SharpTools rule along with a Personal Access Token.

You could also call the /services/tts endpoint which returns a URL that points to an MP3 file if your device commands supports passing an MP3 file directly to it. Or for that matter, you could generate a TTS or whatever sound file you wanted and store it somewhere then pass the stored file directly to your command.


Thanks @GSzabados and @joshua_lyon for the ideas, I’ll look into them.

Appreciate it!


Big Talker 2 functionality eventually died for me (November). I noticed that the Smartthings app now has a “Play message on speaker” option in Routines.

  1. Go to Automation tab and hit the “+” button to
    “Create Routine”.
  2. In the If condition, create whatever trigger you want, like a motion sensor movement detected.
  3. In the Then section, add a new action and select “Notify Someone”.
  4. The third option is “Speak message to speaker”.
  5. Enter the message you want to speak.
  6. Select the Audio Device to play it on: I have been using a Sonos One (2nd gen) with Big Talker and it works here. My Google speakers don’t show up,so they’re supported yet.
  7. Select appropriate Language and Male/Female voice.
  8. Save and give the routine a name.

I don’t know of a way to use dynamic parameters in the message field like Big Talker uses %devicename% so you can just use one routine for multiple devices. So for now I had to create a routine for each sensor, and for my door contact sensors I had to create two routines for each door (open and close) - ugh. But at least I still have my voice announcements.

Hope this helps!

Yep mine stopped too.

The problem with the built in voice is the voices to choose from are poor. Plus there isn’t a way to change volume.

But at this point, beggars can’t be choosers.

It’s funny how much we really like big talker… and now it’s gone.