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Using speech to text on Android



OnePlus 8 Pro Android 11 dev preview settings page

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

If you’ve ever typed a long text message on your smartphone, you know that smartphone keyboards can be tricky and difficult to work with at times. The keyboard may be slow to respond or your fingers may be too large for the smaller keyboard icons. In any case, speech to text on Android can save you the hassle and time of typing everything manually.

Speech to Text is a feature that lets you speak what you want to write and your smartphone will write it for you. And even if you are a fast speech baller, it is usually faster to say what you want to write.

Let’s take a look at how the speech-to-text feature works on Android devices and how to get the most out of it.


How do I activate speech to text on Android?

Normally, speech to text is already enabled on your device. If not, you can easily fix that.

Search for the Google app on your smartphone. Open the app, tap More at the bottom right, then tap SettingsOnce you are in the Settings menu, tap Speech> Offline speech recognition and make sure your language is downloaded. Whatever languages ​​are here are the ones that the speech to text feature picks up as you speak.

Related: Easily set up voicemail on your Android

If you have a Samsung device, your voice to text function may be powered by Samsung voice input. To get here, go to your Settings> General Management> Language & Input> On-Screen Keyboard> Samsung Voice Input Once here, you can change the default language for the keyboard and for voice input.

Voice to text works with many different languages. For certain languages ​​with accents or more characters in the alphabet, speech to text can be a lot easier to use than the keyboard.


Using speech to text on Android

You can use speech to text with any app you would normally type in. To use the speech-to-text feature, tap a text field to open your smartphone’s keyboard. Once your keyboard is open you should see a microphone icon. Clicking on that microphone icon will launch the speech to text feature.

shows the microphone on the smartphone keyboard for speech to text

Credit: Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

To stop speaking for a moment, just tap the microphone. Tapping it again will restart the speech to text feature.

Checking out: The best voice recorder apps for Android

When using speech-to-text on Android, punctuation is not auto-populated for you. You need to dictate punctuation whenever you want in whatever you type. Here are some of the most common punctuation voice commands:

  • Period
  • Question mark
  • Exclamation mark
  • Comma
  • New line
  • New paragraph

For example, consider this sentence: the dog stopped barking, but the squirrel was still there. To put this sentence in a text speech to text, you would have to say: the dog stopped barking (comma) but the squirrel was still there (period).

demonstrating voice to text on Android

Credit: Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

When you have finished speaking, you can tap the microphone to stop recording. If voice to text hears the wrong word or you want to change what you said, you will need to manually go back and change it. You can say a voice command to replace one word with another, but sometimes it’s easier to just type manually to replace the word.


How to Improve Speech to Text on Android

Speech to Text is a great feature, but it’s not always perfect. There are a few things you can do to improve your experience and make the speech to text feature a bit more reliable.

Make sure to speak slowly. If you speak too fast, chances are your phone won’t record everything you said and you’ll have to start all over again.

Also read: The best voice changer apps for Android

Speak clearly too. Speak your words more than you normally would so it is clear what you are trying to say.

Finally, make sure you are in an area with little traffic and as little noise as possible. When you are at a concert, speech to text will not work because your smartphone cannot clearly distinguish your voice from your surroundings.


Packing up

If you are trying to record a long paper or document for work, speech to text may not produce the desired results. However, the speech to text feature on Android is great for sending messages, writing a short memo, and typing smaller amounts of text.


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