Dictation on Mac, iPhone and iPad

Dictation on Mac, iPhone and iPad


Steve Dotto here. Today, it’s all about
dictating. I want to be a dictator. I’ve wanted to be a dictator as long as I can remember.
I have always desired the abandonment of the keyboard in favor of the human voice and being
able to dictate into the computer. Indeed, we’ve had different dictation applications
for a long time. Some of them worked poorly. Some of them were just awful. But with the
latest evolution of operating systems, especially in the Apple world, dictation is becoming
a reality. There’s lots of talk about it around Siri, the iPhone, and all of that sort
of stuff so I wanted to show you several different options you have to become an incredibly proficient
dictator. Now for me it begins on the Mac. With the
latest version of the operating system, the Lion version [phonetic 00:00:49] operating
system, if you go into this Systems Settings here, you will see that they have a selection
here called Dictation and Speech. If we select that and turn it on, we can then choose what
microphone we want to use in order to use it as a dictation tool.
Now dictation works in most applications that allow text. In some web-based applications
it doesn’t work out. For instance in Google Drive, dictation doesn’t work but it does
in Evernote, it does in your email software, and it does in an application like Microsoft
Word that I have open here. I have mine configured so that if I press the Function key twice,
it automatically comes up and allows me to dictate.
To be honest, since I started using this, I dictate an awful lot more. It’s pretty
even now with typing, especially for quick replies and such. Let me show you. I’m just
going to hit the Function key twice on my keyboard and you see this little microphone
appears [comma]. When you dictate, you have to insert all punctuation yourself [period].
That allows the software to know what appropriate punctuation there should be [comma]. Once
you finish dictating your message, hit the Function key again and it will them insert
the text [period]. Let’s see if it worked. Not bad at all, really, is it? It’s done
just a great job of recognizing my text. So that is dictation on the Mac.
There’s been a lot of talk about Siri, of course, the iOS 6 app which runs on the phone.
Siri is indeed a tremendously capable dictation tool. Actually, it’s more a virtual assistant.
It does more than dictation. It allows you to so some extra things as well.
For those of you have never played with Siri or haven’t used it, let me show you how
it works. I’ve got it fired up here on my phone. With Siri, you can actually tell it
to do other functions as well. I’ll give you an example: “Email Steve Dotto. Subject:
Be sure to wake up early tomorrow morning.” [Siri: Which email address for Steve? What
would you like your email to say?] “Be sure to get up early tomorrow morning as you have
a conference call at 6 o’clock [period] you great stud, you.” [Siri: Here’s your
email message to Steve Dotto.] Stodgen. [Siri: Ready to send it?] No, I think I’ll cancel
it. I’m a great “Stodgen.” As you can see, it’s fairly epic. Do you
know where I use Siri the most though? It’s in quick little replies to texts that come
in and out. If I had a text like this one here, typically speaking I’m terrible on
the keyboard replying to texts so if you look down here on the very bottom of the screen,
there’s that little microphone. That’s part of the same functions. If I tap on that,
I can say, “Let’s have lunch tomorrow,” and so that automatically fills in for texting.
I find this way more efficient for replying to texts than trying to type in and I know
use this almost exclusively as my text replying function or tool when I’m using my Apple
phone. As you can see, text recognition has come
a long way. However, having said all of this, not all of our iOS devices are created equal.
I’m opening up my iPad here and I’ll show it to you on the screen as well. Now I have
an older iPad. This is an iPad 2 but I have upgraded it to the latest version of the operation
system. For some reason, Apple chose not to include Siri for iPad 2s that have been upgraded
to iOS 6. Maybe it doesn’t have enough processing power. I don’t know the reason. But the
net result for those of us who have iPad 2s that are upgraded to iOS 6 that want to use
voice as either a command or dictation tool within it, we have to find alternate systems.
For managing the iPad, for doing things like sending a text or look this up, there’s
a great tool called Vlingo, which you should take a look at. It’s a wonderful app that
does great kind of assistant management-type stuff so it does some of what Siri would do.
But for the dictation side, which is what this one is all about, Dragon Dictation seems
to be the best option to me. It’s free and it does a pretty darn good job.
So let’s give it a shot and try it. I’ll be using a little microphone, which you can
see right here. That’s a virtual representation of it in the top of the screen. Let’s do
this: “This dictation software does quite a good job of allowing us to dictate on older
iPads that aren’t supporting the new Siri system that Apple has on their newer iPads.”
That was brilliant, wasn’t it? So now it processes it. So you can see that it does
a pretty darn good job, again, of converting my voice into text.
Now you have to come up with a bit of a system to get this text now into an email or something
like that. If we click here on the little bar here at the top, we can email it directly,
we can send it out to a couple of different social networking areas. What I do if I am
going to dictate an email here that I don’t really usually want to send right from the
iPad, what I’ll do is I’ll email it to myself then I’ll copy and paste it onto
an email on my computer. But it does allow me to some dictation work here on the iPad,
which is again a great benefit because the keyboard on the iPad, of course, isn’t all
that great. Overall, the world of dictation has certainly
come a very long way in a very short period of time, relatively speaking. For the longest
time, we had poor dictation software that we had to train, was very flakey, and difficult
to use but in just the last two years or so we’ve seen dictation software just explode
as far as its capability, not just on the Mac but on almost all of our different mobile
or desktop platforms. If you do decide that you want to start incorporating dictation
in your workflow, you have to think a little more structure than you do when you’re working
on a keyboard. Your thought process has to slow down as far as what you’re putting
out because it’s just a different workflow as you dictate instead of writing. You have
to remember to put in all of the punctuation and of course you should make sure that you
proofread it really well at the end. I hope you found this useful. If you have,
please give us a like and let people know that the Dotto Tech videos are useful to them
and their life. I’m Steve Dotto. We will see you soon right here again.
[END OF VIDEO] Steve Dotto0Dictation on Mac, iPhone0March
26, 2013 Page 1 of 2

10 thoughts on “Dictation on Mac, iPhone and iPad

  1. Thanks Steve, another great video. I shall start incorporating dictation into my work, starting with texts. When I remember I use Dragon and that is quick and accurate. I must use it more often. Best wishes, JohnM

  2. im doing the pc vs mac thing right now ..CANT DECIDE! windows 8 has speech command as well but you can basically run and control the whole comp through speech just like dragon…wish apple was up to snuff with dictation. you also have to be linked to wifi to use dictate on the mac

  3. Thanks for the video.

  4. I am looking for a mac compatible dictation software that will work with already existing tape recordings. Also, able to interpret a heavy lithuanian accent….any chance I can be so lucky?

  5. I like that Dragon Dictation can be used without voice training. I am hard-of-hearing, and I have to communicate with strangers everyday, and I ask them to speak into the microphone on my iPhone 4S. I just wish it would record for longer. Also, Nuance Software insists on the voice training.

  6. to comment on post from 1HeavyHitr:
    Wifi is NOT required for dictation on the Mac, if you enable "Use Enhanced Dictation", just under the "On" toggle switch in the Dictation System Prefs. Ticking this checkbox downloads the 800MB dictation engine and dictionary to the Macs HD and keeps it local. It also enables live-feedback, so you see the text echoing on the screen as you speak. (no waiting for the dots……..)

  7. Can I use this to make a transcript of a recorded lecture? I have a tascam digital DR-03 recorder and uses SD flash.

  8. Is there a means to train Mac dictate on words that it gets wrong?

  9. Hello how are you

  10. Thank you so much for this video!

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