Free Your Hands With Speech-to-Text on Android

By | March 18, 2022

A person can speak faster than typing. However, most people just enter text on their phone using their fingers. Since speaking allows you to enter the same information but more quickly, you should take advantage of the voice to text feature of your Android device.

Let’s take a look at Android’s Speech-to-Text function and how to use it in various applications.

How to Turn on Speech-to-Text on Android

On modern versions of Android, Speech-to-Text is enabled by default. You don’t need to do anything special to enable voice-to-text, but you can change a few options.

To configure Speech-to-Text, open the app Arrangement your phone and go to System> Language & input. Here, select Virtual keyboard. You’ll see an entry here for each installed keyboard, in addition to the Google voice typing item.

Tap on this Google voice typing item to make sure everything is set up the way you want it. In particular, make sure you have the right dialect of the Language. There are several options for British English and US English, for example.

It’s also a good idea to use the offline speech recognition panel to download your primary language. That way, you can still use voice to text even when you don’t have a connection.

The rest of the options here are complementary. You can censor offensive words and configure options for hands-free voice control using Bluetooth devices.

Using Voice to Text on Android

After setting up the basic elements, you’re ready to go with voice typing. You can switch to voice input in almost any text field, and it’s most convenient to use within compatible keyboard applications.

Most Android phones these days come with Google Gboard pre-installed. As you would expect, it supports voice typing. But if you don’t choose to use Gboard, you can use another suitable keyboard, such as SwiftKey. Alternative Android keyboards may have specific settings for voice typing, so make sure you explore the app options as well.

When you want to type on your Android device using voice to text, just tap the text entry field as usual. Once your keyboard appears, instead of typing as usual, look for the voice input button.

Gboard users will find this icon on the far right of the suggestions bar. On SwiftKey, it’s in the lower left corner with a long Comma key press. If you want, you can also tap the Keyboard icon in the bottom navigation bar of your phone. This allows you to switch keyboards; select Google voice typing to open the talk panel with text.

No matter how you start speaking to text mode, just start speaking and your words will immediately appear in the text box. Once done, tap on the Mic button to make your phone stop listening to your audio.

Making Changes to Voice-Typed Text

In the dedicated Google voice typing pane that doesn’t appear with Gboard, tap the Backspace key to delete one word at a time. If the machine is not sure about some words you speak, it will underline those words. Tap on the words in question and you will see suggestions appear below them. Select one to switch to that word.

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If you need to change a word, you can press and hold it to highlight the entire word. Then tap the Mic icon and say the word you want to replace. After a while, you will see the pronouns.

Tips for Ease of Use Speech-to-Text

Google’s voice recognition engine is improving all the time, and is much better than it was a few years ago. You should have no trouble typing short messages with it. However, keep a few tips in mind for best results:

  • Speak clearly, but conversationally. Try not to mutter your words or the machine may get confused. However, you don’t have to talk like a robot, because it’s made to understand natural speech.
  • Be careful with background noise. If you are in a busy area or trying to talk to the window in the car, voice typing may not work properly. Try to reduce unnecessary noise as much as possible.
  • Use it often. Since the service is better at learning how you talk over time, it will give you better results.
  • Take advantage of the user dictionary. Visit Settings > Language & Input > Advanced > Personal dictionary and you can add last names, slang and other “unofficial” words that might enhance Android trip-to-text.

Also note that you can add punctuation while speaking. For example, to type the following:

I’m worried about you. What is going on?

You need to say:

“I worried about you. What is going on question mark”

Expand Speech-to-Text With More Apps

The usefulness of Speech-to-Text is only limited by your creativity. You can take advantage of it whenever you don’t feel like typing, such as when texting or taking notes.

But it doesn’t end there. Instead of using Speech-to-Text to replace typing, why not start giving your Android phone all sorts of commands with your voice? This saves you from having to navigate through menus all the time.

Take a look at some of the most useful “OK Google” commands you can give Google Assistant. It lets you send messages, create reminders, and customize settings all with a few words.

Advanced users can also check out the Voice Access app. Instead of Google Assistant commands, it allows you to navigate around your device by voice. It’s aimed at users with disabilities who have difficulty using the touch screen, but it’s also worth a look for anyone who enjoys the text talk function with Android.

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