From talk … to text!

Alyce KominetskyTechnology

“Siri, text Mom for me.”

It’s a bit unbelievable to think about how far technology has advanced since it was invented. Telephones used to be mounted on walls and to get Internet, you had to be plugged in. Now, you can take your phone anywhere and be connected at the same time! However, one of the most interesting features of electronic devices is the talk to text function.

The many names of “talk to text.”

A software by any other name … There are several other names for talk to text. It’s sometimes known as speech to text or as voice to text. However, no matter what it is called, it represents the same concept: software that takes spoken language and transcribes it into written words.

From talk … to text!

Speech recognition has come a long way. In the beginning (and we’re talking about the 1870s), speech recognition systems were rather fragile and not at all accurate. It wasn’t until the 1970s that development of speech recognition technology truly began, with the Harpy being created. The Harpy was a machine capable of understanding a little over 1,000 words, which drove other companies and universities to develop their own systems.

Over time, technology companies have integrated speech recognition into their devices. Apple gave us Siri, Microsoft implemented Cortana, and Amazon joined with Alexa. These features are described as “digital personal assistants” and can perform many different tasks, which includes using Google to gather information and send text messages, controlled solely by your voice.

Efficiency is key

Voice recognition can save valuable time. Nowadays, time is of the essence. With the world functioning at an incredibly quick pace, it’s important to make sure that you’re not wasting your time. However, using the talk to text function can actually improve your efficiency! Outside of using Siri or Cortana, there are several apps you can use, including some which are available on your computer.

  1. Speechnotes

Speechnotes is one of the most highly used and recommended talk to text apps available. Since it was built on Google’s speech recognition engines, Speechnotes dictates what is said with over 90% accuracy. The app is able to transcribe long sessions of speaking, as it doesn’t stop recording. Speechnotes undoubtedly comes in handy, particularly if you don’t want to pay for this type of software. Yes, it is free (aside from a small ad banner). Unfortunately, if you’re not an Android user, you’ll only be able to download Speechnotes onto your Internet browser. We definitely think it’s worth it though!

  1. Transcribe

If you find yourself interacting with a variety of languages on a daily basis that you need to transcribe, then this app may be perfect for you. Transcribe is an app that can turn any voice or video memo into text. According to the app’s website, Transcribe is meant to save “thousands of hours” every month. The app has several different features that can help speed up the process, such as timestamps and automatically expanding acronyms for frequently used words and phrases. It also works offline.

  1. Dragon Anywhere

Dragon Anywhere is considered to be a professional-grade application for mobile dictation. Like desktop applications, Dragon Anywhere allows you to create documents (of any length) and share them. This can all be done directly through your mobile, saving you the hassle of uploading it to your desktop. Want to emphasize what you’ve said? You can underline and italicise your words. Last, but not least, we’re happy to say that you can download Dragon Anywhere onto Android and iOS.

Have you ever used “talk to text” software to make your life a little easier? Or, will you just stick with Siri and Cortana to do the work for you?