Voice Dication, or Voice Dictation – Voice To SMS, Email, Facebook, Twitter And Other Apps to give it its full name, is a voice control app from Europe, designed to offer something vaguely Siri-like to those of us still stuck in the Dark Ages on our pre-4S iPhones.
Does it work? Well yes, actually it does. Better than expected.
The first thing you need to know is that an internet connection is required, since all the processing is done remotely. Over wifi this is almost instantaneous, and over 3G the wait was minimal – just a few seconds, in most cases. Certainly fast enough to remain useful.
When you first open the app, it will ask you to pick your language. There are plenty of options available, which might explain why the app is already popular in places like France, Spain, Italy and Brazil.
One thing that the developers have done well is think about what you might want to do with your text once it’s been recorded. You can send it straight to an email or SMS/iMessage, or to Facebook (connect within the app) or Twitter (using the system-wide Twitter functionality). If that’s not enough, you can send your text directly a selection of other text-oriented apps, such as Pages or WriteRoom.
If you want, you can check your text inside the app before sending it on, and you’ll probably do that by default to start with. I did, because I didn’t expect the text to be correct. But it almost was, so it didn’t take long to switch to sending it directly elsewhere. The copy-to-clipboard function gives you all the flexibility you need to send text to apps that aren’t directly supported. I’ve found it most useful for composing text messages and reminders while out and about – the sort of stuff I used to stop mid-stride to compose with the keyboard.
OK, so it’s not Siri. It’s not a smart assistant, it can’t answer back, you can’t hold a conversation with it. But it does a decent job of converting your words into text and sending them to useful places on your phone, and for that it’s well worth a dollar. It’s a universal app, so it’ll work on your iPad 1 or 2, and on older iPhones going back to the 3GS.
Pro: Cheap, accurate voice transcription, works on older devices
Con: None that I can see