Many modern Android 10 phones have a voice recording dictation system that transcribes audio as one talks. For stroke victims or elderly folk who may need voice-to-text technology, this comes in handy for sending messages. Chromebooks can bring up Google Assistant, and users can dictate with that. Afterward, a user or friend can take a look at the text and edit out any inaccuracies.
Cara's mother is recovering from a stroke and she wants to know how she can still communicate by email on her Chromebook. Leo says that Google Assistant will voice dictate, so she can activate it and dictate. Then she can clean it up before sending it. Google has gotten really good with it. The Google NEST Home Hub Max makes a great video caller. She can also do that. There's also the Facebook portal. One even connects to the TV.
Jeff wants keyboard shortcuts for his iPhone. Siri keeps misquoting him. Leo says that Siri, and other voice assistants, aren't too bright. But over time, it should adjust to your voice and style. Go to settings - general - keyboard - text replacement. Look in there. Leo also recommends using iOS 13 Shortcuts. That's a great way to customize your iPhone to do things you do all the time.
Carl wants to know if there are any third party voice control apps that he can use on Windows. Leo says that most have either been bought out or gone away. There is Dragon Home on Nuance's site.
Microsoft's own voice dictation works pretty well, and Google even has one.
Chuck is using Dragon Naturally Speaking on the Mac, but he just found out that Dragon is discontinuing support for Mac. What are his alternatives? Leo says that Windows and Mac both have voice recognition and dictation now, so it may be that they discontinued it because the market is drying up. Google is also doing this. Sadly, it won't have nearly as many voice features as Dragon did. One thing he could do is use the Windows version and dual boot his Mac as a Windows machine using BootCamp.
Gayle wants to know if she can do dictation with her desktop. Leo says that she can plug in a headset or microphone to the audio jack in the back of the computer. Windows 10 has Cortana that can handle the dictation. She can also get software like Dragon Naturally Speaking, but these days, voice dictation is available as part of Windows OS. It's not perfect, but it works pretty well.
Tracy wants to know how her husband can do voice dictation on his Mac. Leo says to go to the System Preferences pane for keyboard settings and enable voice dictation on the Dictation tab. Then he can tap the function key twice on his iMac, and that will trigger voice dictation. It's pretty accurate. It won't be perfect, but it'll be 80% there. He can even do voice editing.
Mark has a low end Android phone running Marshmallow. Ever since the last update, any time he uses the voice command feature, he's noticed a message that says it's sending audio to his Gmail account. Leo says it's a normal function of Google voice command. It's just letting him know what account that service is associated with. It's not emailing him, it's just letting him know what account it's using. The phone isn't really doing the dictation, it's sending the voice data to Google servers. It looks like Google is being transparent about it.
Ellie is frustrated by Siri's use of punctuation, as it's very inconsistent. How can she teach it to do better? Leo says that Siri is mystifying when it makes that judgement, and there's really no way to fix it. It's not perfect, but it should get better the more it's used. Even if it's 95% accurate, that 5% can still be annoying. Siri is trainable, but whether it actually improves speech recognition is debatable.
Charlie has a Samsung mobile phone and he's amazed with its accessibility features that read text aloud. How does that work? Leo says that Samsung uses their own voice dictation called S Voice and Google has their own voice dictation service that is quite good. Samsung uses Nuance, which has been in this game for decades with Dragon Dictate. It used to be a real challenge, but Leo says that thanks to Nuance and Google, voice dictation is light years better now. Leo also says that with Amazon Echo, it's even more advanced.