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Free dictation apps that convert your speech accurately to onscreen text do exist. I learned that when I stumbled upon Dictanote in the Chrome Web Store.

Speech recognition technology has become quite impressive in recent times. It has given you assistants like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana to make your routine digital tasks easier OK, Google: 20+ Useful Things You Can Say to Your Android Phone OK, Google: 20+ Useful Things You Can Say to Your Android Phone Slowly, without us noticing, the future has arrived. Read More .

But dictating notes is one task that’s not quite simple even now. While you do have a few voice-to-text apps to choose from, they might not work for you for various reasons.

For example, Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking is excellent, but comes with a hefty price tag. There’s Mac’s built-in dictation tool Can You Write A Whole Article Using Voice Dictation on the Mac? Well I Just Did (And This Is It) Can You Write A Whole Article Using Voice Dictation on the Mac? Well I Just Did (And This Is It) What you're reading right now is an example of Apple's dictation and speech program in action. It may be useful for short passages, but can you write a whole article with it? Read More , but that seems to be a hit-and-miss affair. Then there are other apps in this category that are limited to specific platforms or don’t understand a wide variety of accents.

Usually, getting dictation apps to understand my speech is a nightmare, because their error rates for non-American accents seem to be pretty high.

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With Dictanote I faced no such problems. Its accuracy was impressive and so was its autocorrect feature, which instantly corrected mistyped words based on context.

dictanote

It turns out that there are other Chrome-based speech-to-text apps, such as Voice Recognition, that share Dictanote’s accuracy levels. That’s because they all function on Chrome’s Web Speech API, which now boasts a 92% accuracy rate.

Of course, these apps may be accurate, but they’re not flawless. If you use one, do copy-paste your notes to your regular text editor for backup. You could even skip the app installation altogether and use the Web Speech API demo to dictate notes.

web-speech-api

By the way, did you know that you can type with your voice in Google Docs 7 New Google Drive Features Every Student Must Know 7 New Google Drive Features Every Student Must Know School is in session and Google is ready to make things easier for students with Google Drive. New features have been introduced and old ones refined. We have the details. Read More ?

Do you use a voice-to-text converter? How does it score in terms of accuracy and price? Rate your app of choice in the comments!

Image Credit: voice recognition by Carlos Amarillo via Shutterstock

  1. Federico Durán
    October 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Voice dictation / control always sound fine (no pun intended) until one tries to use it in a office shared with coworkers whose work involves talking on the phone or are just chatty.
    And when one is alone and quiet at home it just feels weird.

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      October 7, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      You're right there, Federico. Dictation apps may be accurate, but it does feel weird using them. My previous attempts at using dictation software always ended with me going back to typing.

  2. Luc Schots
    October 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

    How does it look on the Android front? Any good apps for smartphones available?

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      October 7, 2015 at 9:00 am

      Have you tried Nuance's Dragon Mobile Assistant, Luc? It seems pretty good (although it may not work properly if you have an older version of Android).

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