Speech to text technology has been around for a number of years now, however it has only recently become high enough quality enough to choose over the accuracy of typing.
While the technology has been slow to develop, in recent years the recognition of its capabilities has seen its usage rapidly expand. In work and education especially, speech-to-text technology is seen as a convenient and time saving measure, and is often seen as a means to do away with the clunky keyboard.
As smartphones have continued to advance, so has the movement away from desktop speech-to-text usage and onto the ever-expanding use of apps on the go. You can dictate while on the train or exercising without interruptions and be comfortable knowing you’re using technology that’s efficient and highly accurate. There are now a myriad of useful apps out there. Let’s explore the best dictation apps on the market, both paid and free.
Otter a cloud-based app with a tiered subscription plan, beginning with a free basic option. Its main focus is around interviews and lectures, however, it has the capability to recognise different voices and so can be used for meetings to make the dialogue more clear cut. Minute-taking can be a laborious and time-consuming task so specific voice recognition could be a dream come true for some businesses. Additionally, you can import audio and video files for transcription. The free option allows 600 minutes of service with premium offering 6000 minutes of speech-to-text with the addition of optional playback speeds.
Gboard (formerly Google Keyboard)
One of the best-known free apps out there, Gboard is mainly aimed at Android technology but is also available on iOS. It supports over 60 languages and has built in speech-to-text translation along with its virtual keyboard function. While Otter is more inclined toward the business and educational user, Gboard is a highly capable and alert bit of kit for more day-to-day usage. It comes ad free and can work with prominent services such as Gmail. The Google Docs app also has a free voice-to-text function that’s easily accessible if not yet perfect.
This app is able to adapt to provide punctuation and formatting as it goes, plus it is able to filter for vocab and replace words once the text has been transcribed. Like Otter, it can also identify individual speakers and adapt the text accordingly. It’s aimed primarily at businesses and it’s easy to see why with a combination of reliability and background noise cancelling making it one of the best providers out there for a fee. The app site says that a recording the length of an average board meeting would cost $2.88.
One of the most well-known speech-to-text applications, the Dragon Anywhere mobile app has done a terrific job of taking up the desktop’s mantle. Editing is quick and easy, plus it works well with numerous other apps for a reasonable monthly fee. It’s operated through the cloud.
While many of the other apps require a bit of techy knowledge, Live Transcribe seeks to aid those with disabilities and visual impairments. It’s currently available on Android with a view to spreading it to other platforms. It is designed to be accessible, highly accurate and easy to use, plus it’s free.
There are plenty of varieties out there, both free and paid for, so it’s a case of considering what you need it for and trying what works for you.
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