Apple iOS provides strong dictation capability in any app that brings up the keyboard. It also makes calls, texts, emails, appointments, and reminders; sets alarms, opens apps and web pages, etc.
by voice. There is some improvement in quality when you wear an ear-bud mic or Bluetooth headset. *
Apple’s Siri gives voice control of some-but not all-OS functions, searching, and calling. Turn Siri on in the settings app and assign permissions to get the most from it.
Android OS provides simple dictation in any app that brings up the keyboard, but is more suited to text fields, text messages, and email . The commands for inserting characters and formatting are
limited to basic punctuation and paragraph breaks. Integrates Swype and Dragon/Nuance keyboards seamlessly, an advantage Apple does not have, but you have to purchase and install them.
Google Now virtual assistant is different from Siri – way better at searching, but harder to set-up voice control. If you enable additional permissions in the settings, it does more. First enable
“offline speech recognition.” Go into Accounts & Privacy settings in the main settings app to enable location, history, reporting, web history, and “contact recognition” for Google Now. To enable reminders, open the Notifications
settings and enable “show updates from Google Now”. Open “Language & Input” settings to enable TTS speech output. Open the settings next to the Google TTS engine and tap “install voice data”. This gives you access to high-quality
voices. With the above settings, Google Now can do anything Siri can.
For better dictation,
droid [Android/Kindle, $3.99] provides full professional Dictaphone capability, audio note taking, and can be used as a session recorder for musicians. Attorneys use this. 4.5 stars.
For better and faster voice control,try
Utter! Beta [Android, FREE]. It gives voice access to settings and apps without interfering with Google Now. 4 stars.
When using the
pp [Android/Apple/Nook/Kindle, FREE] on any device that has a microphone, you can say “OK Google” to wake up voice search capability - after giving it access to the microphone. 4.5 stars.
Dictation on Nook and Kindle (if it has a microphone) is the same as for Android. You can dictate on your Kindle (to a PC) with
ote Microphone [Android/Kindle, FREE], or purchase the
ype keyboard [Android/Nook/Kindle, $3.99] and install it for dictation when the keyboard is active. 2.5 and 4 stars respectively.
Dragon Dictation [Apple, FREE] Older iPads do not natively support speech recognition. Download this app to fill the gap.
*Remember – All current devices require connection to Wi-Fi for dictation. Offline speech recognition is usually either limited or disabled.