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How To Use Siri Speech to Text on iPad and iPhone to Dictate Articles and Blogs

Avoid this...

No more hours of typing away...
No more hours of typing away...

Siri Speech to Text on iPad & iPhone

I have been an iPad owner for a few months now and am already sold on all the cool things it can do.

Apple have just released a new updated operating system to the iPad and iPhone, iOS 6. This alerted me to the existence of a function called Siri which allows you to control your iPad and iPhone using voice commands through the speech to text function. The speech to text feature of Siri was originally introduced on iOS 5.1 for the iPhone 4s and came preinstalled on the new iPad; however the update to iOS 6 has apparently improved the functionality and accuracy of the function.

When writing a hub for a few hours, I thought how great it would be if I could use Siri speech to text as a dictation device and speak rather than type my hubs. This hub is my first effort at doing just that so I will let you know how it goes at the end of this article.

Microphone icon

Look for this icon on your keyboard
Look for this icon on your keyboard

Setting up Speech to Text for Siri

Before we go on I’ll quickly describe how to get Siri up and running on your iPad or iPhone.

You can use Siri speech to text on pretty much any app that has a keyboard and is running iOS 5.1 or above. First go to settings> General > Keyboard> Dictation and enable Siri. You also need an internet connection to use voice dictation because of the high levels of data processing power required for natural language processing. This shouldn’t be a problem on the iPhone as you will probably have a data package included with your tariff; however iPad users might be limited to using Siri speech to text at home.

Once enabled a small microphone button will appear next to the space bar, you simply press this button, a pink bar will appear on the microphone to show it is on, speak, press the button again to turn it off and your words will magically appear on the screen. Fantastic! Well nearly anyway…

Dictate away...

This is what you'll see
This is what you'll see

How does Siri Speech to Text Perform?

The first time I used Siri speech to text the words that appeared on the screen didn’t even resemble what I had said, however after a bit of trial and error I realized that it was much more to do with my generally poor diction, speaking too fast, slurring etc. You really need to speak clearly and slowly, but once you get that the hang of it it’s amazing how accurately it picks up what you say. It obviously struggles with some complicated words and some not so complicated words but generally I was very impressed.

I found that when dictating through Siri speech to text, I would get most of the text right, but punctuation was difficult. There is a whole dictionary of commands for full stops, commas, brackets, paragraphs etc. but until you have actually learned all these it makes the whole punctuation side of things challenging. I found myself having to go over the text after it was written to correct some of the words and add punctuation. The result was that it probably took me longer to write this hub than it would if I had typed it up. “frowny”. :(

That said the quality towards the end of the hub had significantly improved so I was obviously getting better. It really is a case of practice makes perfect. The more you use Siri to dictate and the better you learn the punctuation, the quicker, easier and more accurate your results will be.

What do you need and what else can you do?

To make the most of Siri speech to text you also need an app to actually write in. You could use notes, notability or there are several free and paid apps like Dragon Dictation which are dedicated dictation packages. I tried several of these options and found that the quality of voice capture varied wildly, I found Dragon Dictation to be the worst and found that the best results came from using the messages app. I’d open a new message address it to myself and speak away. When I had finished I’d email it to myself, touch up the text and punctuation and off you go, remarkably easy.

Another way you could use Siri speech to text on your iPhone or iPad is to dictate directly into the Hubpages app or any other iPhone or iPad blogging app. As long as Siri is enabled, the microphone icon will appear on your keyboard. I have never tried to write an article, blog or hub on an iPhone but I would imagine that it would be a real pain using such a small keyboard and trying to negotiate through corrective text. Using speech to text would eliminate much of that pain and you could literally blog on the move.

Using Siri Speech to Text in other Languages

Siri speech to text also allows you to dictate to other languages. This can be done by going to Settings> General>keyboard>Keyboards>Add new keyboard. Add the keyboard for the language you would like to speak, French for instance, and then speak away in French and Siri will pick it all up seamlessly. Although I doubt it could do much with my awful French accent so I imagine native speakers would do much better. There are also numerous translation apps like Google Translate that can do this sort of thing, these could also be worth a go.

Summary

In summary, if you are serious about dictating your articles and blogs then Siri speech to text could be the future. It probably took me a little longer than typing, but this was the first time i tried it and I'm sure there is great room for improvement. I will definitely persevere as i think this could really revolutionize the way we write articles, blogs and Hubs.

I'm obviously improving as I managed this paragraph punctuation and all...

Please leave a comment to let me know if you have any luck with Siri yourself.

What would you say to Siri to write this summary?

In summary comma if you are serious about dictating your articles and blogs then Siri could be the future period It probably took me a little longer than typing comma but this was the first time i tried it and I'm sure there is great room for improvement period I will definitely persevere as i think this could really revolutionize the way we write articles comma blogs and Hubs period new line new lineI'm obviously improving as I managed this paragraph punctuation and all period period period new line new line Please leave a comment to let me know if you have any luck with Siri yourself period

Siri speech to text commands

To make things easier for you I have added some of the popular punctuation commands for Siri speech to text below.

(click column header to sort results)
Say  
To do this  
new line
go to next line, like return
new paragraph
start a new paragraph
cap
to make the next word start with a capital letter
caps on … caps off
to make all words start with capital letters
all caps
makes the next word all uppercase
all caps on … all caps off
all words between the 2 commands will be all capital letters
no caps
makes the next word all lowercase
no caps on … no caps off
makes all words between the 2 commands appear in lower case
“period” or “full stop”
enters a period or full stop
comma
, enters a comma
double comma
,, enters 2 commas
 
 
quote … end quote
quote.. Say quotation … end quote
apostrophe
adds an apostrophe
exclamation point
! Adds an exclamation point
inverted exclamation point
¡ adds and inverted exclamation point
question mark
? Adds a question mark
inverted question mark
¿ adds an inverted question mark
ampersand
& - adds an ampersand
asterisk
* - adds an asterisk
open parenthesis
( - adds an open parenthesis
close parenthesis
) - adds an close parenthesis
open bracket
[ - adds an open bracket
close bracket
] - adds a close bracket
open brace
{ - adds an open brace
close brace
} - adds an close brace
hyphen
- adds a hyphen
em dash
— - adds a em dash
underscore
_ - adds an underscore
percent sign
% - adds a percent sign
copyright sign
© - adds a copyright sign
registered sign
® - adds a registered sign
section sign
§ - adds a section sign
dollar sign
$ - adds a dollar sign
cent sign
¢ - adds a cent sign
euro sign
€ - adds a euro sign
yen sign
¥ - adds a yen sign
degree sign
° - adds a degree sign
caret
^ - adds a caret
at sign
@ - adds a at sign
pound sterling sign
£ - adds a pound sterling sign
pound sign
# - adds a pound sign
greater than sign
>  - adds a greater than sign
less than sign
<  - adds a less than sign
forward slash
/ - adds a forward slash
backslash
\ - adds a back slash
vertical bar
| - adds a vertical bar
“smiley face”
- adds a smiley face
“frowny face”
- adds a frowny face
“winky face”
- adds a winky face
e g
e.g. - adds an e g
I e
i.e. - adds an I e
 
 

Straw poll

Do you think Siri could save you time?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I prefer a keyboard
See results without voting

Comments 19 comments

Liz-reviews profile image

Liz-reviews 4 years ago from Vancouver, BC

Fabulous idea !! I am an Apple fan...just got the Iphone 5.

I did give Android a try with my tablet, ummm don't like it.

Ipad is my next purchase so i can give this fabulous Siri dictation a go.

Thanks for the command legend.

Voted useful & up

Liz


dommcg profile image

dommcg 4 years ago Author

Thanks Liz, I think with a bit of practice it could really speed up the whole hubbing and writing process.


Rain Defence profile image

Rain Defence 4 years ago from UK

I think hubpages could integrate this into their app. Well I don't know if they could but its got to be worth a go eh?


dommcg profile image

dommcg 4 years ago Author

Excellent point Rain Defence. The beauty is that it is already integrated into their app. If Siri is installed then you can start a new hub on your iPhone or iPad start Siri and speak away. Your voice will then be captured as speech, much easier than typing away on a tiny screen.


DoctorDarts profile image

DoctorDarts 4 years ago

Good post. Could be useful for writing with say, your headphones plugged in whilst moving around your home working on stuff...yet writing at the same time.


dommcg profile image

dommcg 4 years ago Author

Thanks DoctorDarts, it's also good for putting the initial structure together, planning your main themes and then finishing it off and editting it on your computer. Cheers


YogaKat profile image

YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

Useful and interesting info . . . gonna give it a try. I am Siriʻs biggest fan when it comes to driving and directions.


dommcg profile image

dommcg 4 years ago Author

Thanks Yogakat, i've found it very useful, it can be a bit of a struggle at first, but once you've had a few goesit can save a huge amount of time.


Kerdon profile image

Kerdon 4 years ago from Ireland

Just tried it out on my iPhone - it works remarkably well.


dommcg profile image

dommcg 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment Kerdon. I use it a lot now, let me know if it saves you any time.


Rain Defence profile image

Rain Defence 4 years ago from UK

Are you still using Siri then? I found that after a bit of experimentation with Siri, I don't find myself using it any more. Maybe I will in its next incarnation when it is a little more advanced.


dommcg profile image

dommcg 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the update Rain Defence. I still use Siri as i find i've got a lot quicker at it now. At first it's a bit of a struggle, but when you've dictated a few hubs or articles and you have learned the punctuation it can really make life easier.


Geovanni Redido 3 years ago

I got my iPad4 last few days and I am really having fun with SIRI. Thanks for this hub. Good experiences shared are the best teacher. The commands are also very very useful.

I am using as many language as I can to learn also the correct pronunciation especially, Frence, German, Korean and Japanese.


dommcg profile image

dommcg 3 years ago Author

Thanks Geovanni, i took me a while to get to grips with it, but it has really revolutionised the way i write. You're a braver man than me if you attempting to use it in different languages. Good luck and thanks for the comment.


Samith Jhon profile image

Samith Jhon 3 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Your hub give me valuable information and I will try to use these tips.


dommcg profile image

dommcg 3 years ago Author

Thanks, i hope they help you to use Siri more effectively.


Roman 3 years ago

I wondered about microphone icon too.

so i have made research on it and posted my results here:

http://pilotaz.blogspot.com/2013/06/how-to-get-mic... it might be helpful for you.


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Really informative and helpful. Expect more such hubs. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.


dommcg profile image

dommcg 3 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by, Siri is a great tool that really gets underused.

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