Use Punctuation To Dictate Text Messages Or Tweets Effectively [iOS Tips]


It's not a jet car, but this seems a lot like the future.
It's not a jet car, but this seems a lot like the future.

As a new owner of an iPhone 5 that can take dictation, I’m still playing around with Siri and the various places and times that it makes sense to use my voice instead of the keyboard. Obviously, a crowded, quiet room is not the best place to speak to my iPhone, but in the car certainly is. It’s even better that I’m not texting with my fingers in the car, either, since that’s just plain dangerous. For a quick message, now, I’m gonna use the iOS 6 dictation feature.

Apple’s got an entire Knowledge Base article on how to best use dictation on your iOS 6 iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S, and as I read through it, it struck me how much easier it will be to respond to text messages should they come in while I’m not in a place to easily type a reply. One thing that surprised me was the recommendation to speak punctuation aloud.

The obvious way to dictate in any app is to tap into a text field, like a text Message or Twitter field, which will bring up the keyboard. On an iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S, the little microphone icon will show up down in the left corner of the keyboard. Tap that and then begin to speak out loud, clearly and in a normal voice.

Apple recommends using punctuation, which makes a lot of sense — everyone’s intonation is different, and speech to text systems on the Mac OS take up a lot of processing power just to do that. Give Siri a break and just say the punctuation. Apple gives the following example (bold emphasis added by me):

Enter punctuation: Say the punctuation marks you wish to have inserted as they are needed. For example, to dictate “Pick up the new iPad and suddenly, it’s clear,” say “Pick up the new iPad and suddenly comma it’s clear period.”

Source: Apple Support