Did You Know?
The built-in, overall virtual personal assistant, and knowledge navigational proprietary app for iOS devices, right since iOS 5, namely, Siri, also has a feature that allows dictation. Using speech-recognition techniques, it can "listen" and then convert what you say to text, which can be then posted on a social networking site, sent as a text message/email, or saved somewhere.
Speech recognition is truly a fascinating domain of study. The immense potential for sophisticated applications of this fantastic technology is mind-boggling. In the last three decades, this particular field of research has seen unbelievable progress, and from the days of devices that could recognize less than twenty words, in a single language, and only of a single voice, we have come to an age where we have our own personal assistant on our smartphone, that we can control using just our voice, and what's more, it is powered by a technology intelligent enough to enable the app to understand our speech better, the more we use it.
Today, we use voice recognition software in so many different ways; from home automation (like turning lights/electronics on and off), and language translators, right up to hands-free access to our various gadgets. Another popular area where this technology could be put to good use is when it is integrated with a text generator; you speak, and an app converts your speech to text. There are a number of apps of varying levels of quality, accuracy, popularity, and of course, price, that one can find in the App Store. Techspirited provides you a list of the best apps for talk-to-text conversion that are available for devices that use iOS, and are especially popular with those using pre-Siri models of the iPhone (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, etc.)
The Best iOS Apps to Convert Voice into Text
- Developed by Nuance, and powered by Dragon's NaturallySpeaking software engine, accurate transcription of speech is absolutely not an issue with this app, and it is also quite fast.
- The app itself is a small file of approximately 5 MB, and it does not take up much storage space either. This is because the speech-to-text converting engine is not stored on your phone, but is accessed online. Hence this app needs a working internet connection to function.
- In general, it lets you take notes, or generate text, in a hands-free manner, as you do not have to type, and the notes taken can be copied to the clipboard to paste elsewhere (on a different app), or directly sent by email, SMS, or converted into a tweet or Facebook status.
- Vlingo is so much more than just a mere speech-to-text converter. In fact, for iPhones from the pre-Siri era, it does exactly what Siri can; it is a complete personal assistant.
- Not only does it convert your voice to text, you can also make it perform tasks with the transcribed text, that too, using voice commands.
- For example, you can ask it to text the message that you dictated to a friend on your contact list, or you can ask it to post the message on a social network, and much more. Hence, you do not need to copy and paste what you dictate, like you need to with other apps.
Google Mobile app
- Apps by Google do not need any introduction. Anyone who has glanced into an Android phone, where many of these apps are proprietary, and are installed by the manufacturers themselves, will know how Google apps allow users the option to use voice-to-speech conversion over physically typing, almost everywhere.
- The basic function of converting what you speak into text is obviously a feature of this app; however, with a recent update, this app almost doubles as the Siri app itself, with support for natural language questions, rather than just search phrases. And since it uses Google's Knowledge Graph, the speed of retrieving information is faster than Siri.
- It does not, however, function as an alternate virtual assistant; Google Now is the app of choice to serve that purpose. However, for those wishing to convert their voice into text with both speed and efficiency, as well as want the additional benefit of being able to turn the transcribed message into a search query and get accurate results for it, it is the best option.
- If you are looking for the ultimate alternative to Siri, and also, one that works not just with the latest iOS devices, but also devices like the iPhone 3GS, and the iPod touch 3rd generation, Vokul is a superb option, as it is packed with features.
- It allows you to dictate, save the transcribed text on your phone, or send it to a different app. It even allows you to send dictated messages as an SMS, email, or post them online on Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere.
- It smoothly integrates with the Bluetooth of your vehicle.
- This app carries out the simple, extremely handy task, of converting whatever you speak into text, which appears in a text box.
- You can edit and then copy-paste the transcribed text to another app, or send it as an SMS, email, or instant message.
- Powered by iSpeech, which has a reputation for good-quality speech recognition software, this app is a good choice if you want just the basic functionality, of conversion of voice into text.
- QuickVoice PRO works with a completely different and innovative mechanism. Its basic premise lies in allowing you to record a voice message (the file can be as large as 20 MB), and then send the transcribed version as an email.
- The recorded file is converted to text server-side, using SpinVox―a very efficient voice to text converter engine based in the U.K. The accuracy of conversion is quite high.
- The email sent will have a default signature, advertising the fact that the message was converted from voice, using this app or software, but users feel that it is a small price to pay in the face of not having to type out an email, and yet, get pretty accurate voice to text conversion.
The above list includes some of the best apps available for users of iOS devices, to convert voice into text. Some of them use technology par-excellence, and yet are free of charge. However, with a built-in app for newer phones and tablets to not just transcribe your text, but also to function as a complete virtual private assistant, not to mention give you information about anything under the sun, and which can be completely controlled by voice, turning to a third party app for the same purpose is expendable. But still, for those who own devices that do not support the Siri app, and also, for those who wish to overcome its glaring limitations, our suggestions are perfect alternatives.