How to use Gboard dictation to improve iOS dictation | Cult of Mac

Dramatically improve iOS dictation using Google’s Gboard


Gboard dictation makes iOS even better.
Photo: Google

Google’s Gboard has been a great alternative iOS keyboard since its launch, and the latest update makes it even better. Now you can use it to dictate your messages, which will save you a load of time once you get in the habit.

In my opinion, Google has Siri licked when it comes to voice recognition, so there’s never been a better time to give Gboard a try. Here’s how to get started.

In my testing, I’ve found Gboard to be more accurate than the built-in iOS keyboard when it comes to dictation. It’s saved me time in replying to and creating messages. The integration isn’t as slick as the built-in keyboard but the improvement in recognizing what I’m saying has made it the default keyboard on my iPhone.

Your mileage may vary, but I recommend giving it a try.

How to enable Gboard in iOS

Gboard step 1
Replacing the stock keyboard is straightforward in iOS.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

First off, download Gboard from the App Store. It’s free. Then:

  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Keyboard.
  • Tap Keyboards.
Gboard step 2
Once you install Gboard, select it.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

You can now add Gboard:

  • Tap Add New Keyboard….
  • Tap Gboard.
  • You will now need to give Gboard full access to iOS. Do this by tapping Gboard, then moving the slider to enable.

How to use Gboard dictation in iOS

Once you’ve got Google’s keyboard installed and set up, you can start enjoying Gboard dictation. (If are still seeing the standard iOS keyboard, tap on the globe icon at the bottom of the keyboard to switch to Gboard).

Enable Gboard
The first time you use Gboard for dictation, you will be asked to grant permission.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

For my example, I am going to send an iMessage.

  • Tap on the message you want to reply to or start a new one.
  • On the keyboard, long-press on the space bar and then let go.
  • You will be taken to a full-screen page where you can start to talk.
  • Once you stop talking, you will hear a beep and your text will appear in the message field.
Gboard message
Once you dictate your message, it magically appears in the message text field.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Once you get into the habit of using dictation on Gboard, it will save you a lot of time throughout your day.

On top of adding dictation, the recent Gboard update also adds 15 new languages: Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Catalan, Hungarian, Malay, Russian, Latin American Spanish and Turkish.

Gboard has plenty of other landmark features, including the ability to search straight from the keyboard. What are some of your favorite Gboard features?


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