It’s patient. It sits on the digital iOS keyboard to the left of the space bar. Anytime that keyboard flashes up, the microphone icon appears, too, alert but unassuming like a trained foot soldier waiting to be activated.
Do you know what the simple black icon does? For me, a person with a vision impairment, it allows me to complete tasks more efficiently. The microphone icon offers the service of speech-to-text, automated dictation. Want to try it? It’s simple to use:
- Tap the screen within any text field to see the digital keyboard.
- Tap microphone icon. You will hear a ding.
- After the ding, a gray dictation box appears with white soundbar icons. Say your text.
- Hit Done and you will hear another ding as the software processes. The gray dictation box is replaced with the keyboard.
- Complete text appears in field. The original cursor line is back as well.
I use dictation to create grocery lists, notes, some of my blog posts, text messages, and many other things. It’s fun, it’s kind of like having a free personal assistant at all times.
The only drawback is when I’m in public and off wifi. Sometimes the translation lags. Also, I get slightly self-conscious about talking to my phone when others are around. I don’t want to be sharing anything personal aloud so I use dictation only when I feel comfortable.
Dictation is another way for me to get things done as I live with low vision. Whether or not you have vision loss, accessible technology like speech-to-text software offers everyone increased productivity.
Do you use dictation? If you’re an android user, how does dictation work on that system? Have you had a funny experience while using speech-to-text in public? Tell me about it.