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Dictation Tricks for the iPhone beyond Siri

This guide explains how to use Dictation on iPhone for hands-free messaging. You may also call this a real time dictation feature, as it will allow you to dictate for filling out any text field or message reply box by mainly using your voice with little to no delay. Voice dictation is especially useful when only one of your hands is free to type, or when you’re walking and don’t want to stop for texting back to your friends. When using dictation, your eyes don’t need to stay on the screen.

You might already know Siri, but did you know that you can use Voice Dictation in pretty much any text entry situation? Messaging, taking notes, naming to-do items, writing emails, filling out forms, all of these tasks and more can be accomplished by simply talking into your iPhone’s microphone and letting it do the work for you. Apple’s iOS works extremely well when it comes to recognizing human speech and converting it to text.

Dictation of iPhone, tired of typing?

Voice Dictation is turned on by default. If you lack the microphone icon on your keyboard (bottom left), either the app you are currently using does not support dictation for the field you are typing into, or you’ve completely disabled it in your iOS settings. To enable dictation, go to Settings > General > Siri and make sure that Siri is active.

Dictation is always related to the currently selected keyboard language. If you are using your iPhone in a multilingual fashion, make sure to pick the right keyboard locale for the language you’re going to be dictating. Next press the microphone icon as seen on the screenshot above. Wait for approximately one full or a half second before you start speaking, then begin dictating in a clear and steady manner. When you are done dictating, either just stop speaking or hit the “Done” button.

Hints for optimal results: You can say “period”, “dot” or “comma” and “hyphen” for punctuation. Your iPhone will also “insert new line” and begin a “new paragraph” if you tell it to. Experiment with speed and volume to find the limits of your iPhone Voice Dictation, usually you can go pretty fast. Autocorrection can be used by tapping underlined words after you are done talking, tap word suggestions for a quick correction.

The required speaking volume depends on a number of factors, such as background noise and clarity of speech. Try to talk directly into the microphone at the bottom of your device. Dictation works best when connected to a fast WiFi network or 3G and above when going mobile. Apple needs to process your voice input to make sense of the audio data and convert it into text. Try to keep the voice recording under half a minute for the best reliability.

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