Voice-to-Text App Review: Nearly Hands-Free Texting
We have to preface this post with a small PSA: You should not text message while driving. You also shouldn’t apply makeup, read a novel or eat anything with a utensil while driving. While those and other unsafe habits aren’t directly policed, laws are being enacted nationwide to penalize texters who endanger others while using their phones in traffic.
That’s part of the reason why Dragon Dictation for the iPhone was created. The free app records what you say and converts it to text that’s copied to your phone’s clipboard for texting, emailing or even just saving for a later time.
Yes, it could have great applications for students and journalists for transferring someone else’s speech, but right now it is best used for short bursts of text, like text messages.
I tried the app for the past few days and was left beyond impressed with how well it worked.
Once you open the app, a red record button sits there waiting to be tapped. Then a screen pops up with an equalizer and the word “Recording” and a big red button reading “Done,” which you click when you’re … done talking.
Your recording then flies off to the internet, gets transcribed and returns as text. This took anywhere from a second to about 3 seconds during my trials. This whole process is relatively hands-free, which makes it good for when you’re in the car. It requires just three screen taps. Converting a recording to text and sending it to a recipient takes another seven clicks. And the clicks are all relatively simple, no hunting and pecking on a keypad. To be safe, I’d say use this app only when completely stopped.
I think the next step for applications like this is to use voice commands entirely. But as it is, it takes well under 10 seconds to send the message after it’s finished the transcription; I averaged around 8. That should be ample time at a stoplight. But remember: If you’re moving, put the phone down.