They're also quite popular with productivity enthusiasts because once you get comfortable dictating, it's typically faster than typing. Dictating also enables multitasking. You can write while walking, cooking, or even breastfeeding. Some people also find that writing by dictating silences their internal editor. You might be more inclined to get all your thoughts out first and review them later, rather than revising ideas as you form them.
Here are more details about the best dictation apps and voice recognition tools, with a few words about what makes them different to help you choose. In the last few years, dictation software has become more readily available, easier to use, and much less expensive. Also sometimes called voice-to-text apps or voice recognition apps, these tools turn your spoken words into writing on the screen quickly and accurately.
In looking for the best dictation apps, we tested both free and paid options for desktop and mobile devices, paying attention to accuracy, ease of use, and languages supported.
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Some are standalone software programs while others are features that come inside other apps or operating systems. Take Google Docs Voice Typing, for example. It's a feature inside Google Docs, rather than a standalone app. You can use it to write in Google Docs as well as edit and format your text. They're not true dictation services. They're better classified as AI assistants. You use them to perform simple tasks rather than dictate at length. They can make a shopping list, but they can't help you write a speech. So, you won't find them on this list.
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Dictation apps are impressive, but they aren't perfect. You do need to change how you speak a little for them to work well. Keep these pointers in mind when dictating text.
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Speak like a newscaster. With a dictation app, you need to enunciate clearly, but you shouldn't talk like a robot.
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Speaking like a newscaster is about where you need to be. When you dictate, you have to say each period, comma, question mark, and so forth. Learn a few commands. Take the time to learn a few simple commands, such as "new line" to enter a line break.
There are different commands for composing, editing, and operating your device. Commands may differ from app to app, so learn the ones that apply to the tool you choose. Know your limits.
Especially on mobile devices, some tools have a time limit for how long they can listen, usually around 30 to 45 seconds. Glance at the screen from time to time to make sure you haven't blown past the mark. It takes time to adjust to voice recognition software, but it gets easier the more you practice.
Some of the more sophisticated apps invite you to train by reading passages or doing other short drills. Don't shy away from tutorials, help menus, and on-screen cheat sheets. To use dictation software, you need a microphone. Depending on what you want to accomplish, the built-in microphone on your device could suffice. If you plan to dictate more than a few sentences, switch to an external microphone for better accuracy. Earbuds that have a mic on the cord will do. For more advanced uses, you'll get the best results by investing in a higher quality mic.
The options for microphones used for dictation fall into three broad categories: Among wired headsets, look for a device that puts the microphone close to your mouth, which minimizes the amount of ambient noise it picks up. If you prefer a wireless Bluetooth option, you'll likely end up spending a little more.
Apple Dictation and Speech Recognition Software For OSX
Look no further than your Mac, iPhone, or iPad for one of the best dictations tools. Apple's built-in Dictation feature, powered by Siri we'd be unsurprised if the two merged one day , ships as part of Apple's desktop and mobile operating systems. On iOS devices, you use it by pressing the microphone icon on the stock keyboard. By default, Apple Dictation requires the internet to work and has a time limit of about 30 seconds for each smattering of speech. Enhanced Dictation adds a local file to your device so that you can dictate offline.
You can format and edit your text using simple commands, such as "new paragraph" or "select previous word.
You can view available commands in a small window, like a little cheat sheet, while learning the ropes. Apple also offers advanced commands for creating custom ones.
On a word test using standard Dictation, three words were inaccurate. On a word test with Enhanced Dictation, two were inaccurate. I recommend Apple Dictation only when using Enhanced Dictation. The standard version is annoying and inconvenient for anything longer than 40 seconds. For short messages on mobile devices, it works fine. Enhanced Dictation is the way to go for continuous dictating, however. Use Dictation Go to a document or other text field and place the insertion point where you want your dictated text to appear. The default shortcut is Fn Fn press the Fn key twice.
When your Mac can hear you, the input meter inside the microphone rises and falls as you speak. Speak the words that you want your Mac to type. Dictation learns the characteristics of your voice and adapts to your accent, so the more you use it, the better it understands you. To stop dictating, click Done below the microphone icon, press Fn once, or switch to another window.
With Enhanced Dictation: You can dictate continuously. You can dictate without being connected to the Internet. MacSpeech Dictate International provides a whole new way to interact with your Mac.
Instead of typing, use your voice to input text; rather than clicking your mouse, just speak commands. With MacSpeech MacSpeech Dictate Legal provides a whole new way to interact with your Mac. With MacSpeech Dictate