Whether you want to dictate notes while you’re on the go, share verbal notes with friends and colleagues, or record a message for far-off family members, the Google Play Store has a voice-to-text app that will meet your needs.
Want to learn more? Here are the best speech-to-text and dictation apps for Android.
The best feature of Speechnotes is arguably its punctuation keyboard. Lots of people find it awkward to dictate punctuation marks (for example, you typically have to say “Hi Mum comma please pick up the kids”).
The punctuation keyboard adds on-screen buttons for the most commonly used marks, thus allowing you to dictate faster and more naturally. It also offers emojis and symbols.
Other useful features include Bluetooth support, a home screen widget for instant dictation, and offline note-taking. The app also offers continuous recording. Unlike lots of other dictation apps, that means you can take long pauses between sentences while you gather your thoughts and the app will keep listening.
Handily, SpeechNotes has also added support for automated Google Drive backups of your notes.
Download: Speechnotes (Free, in-app purchases available)
2. Voice Notes
Speechnotes is geared towards lengthy dictations, such as lectures or essays. Voice Notes takes the opposite approach—it specializes in taking quick notes on-the-fly.
The app offers two main ways of recording your notes. You can either use the speech-to-text feature to see a transcribed version of your notes on the screen, or you can save the audio file and listen to it later.
Additionally, Voice Notes has a reminder feature. This lets you set a time for the nudge, along with the type of alert you want to receive. You can even create recurring reminders.
Finally, the app offers powerful organizational tools. They include customizable categories, colored tags, and the ability to import and export your notes.
Download: Voice Notes (Free, in-app purchases available)
SpeechTexter is a speech-to-text Android app that works both online and offline. The app uses Google’s database, so if you want to use the offline mode, you’ll need to download the necessary language packs.
You can do so by heading to Settings > System > Languages and input > Virtual keyboard. Once there, tap on Google voice typing and select Offline speech recognition. To choose the languages to download, tap the All tab and select the language you want.
In addition to basic dictation and speech-to-text, you can use SpeechTexter to create SMS messages, emails, and tweets. The app also boasts a custom dictionary; adding personal information such as phone numbers and addresses is easy.
Download: SpeechTexter (Free)
4. Voice Notebook
Voice Notebook is a full-featured speech-to-text app for Android. Its key features include a customizable list of auto-replaced words and punctuation, a voice-activated undo command, and the ability to import text files from file managers and Google Drive. The app also offers on-screen word and character counters for all your voice notes and dictations.
In-app purchases will unlock access to a power-saving mode, an always-on non-stop dictation option, and Bluetooth support for transferring files.
Download: Voice Notebook (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. Google Assistant
Google Assistant deserves a mention in this category. Similar to Voice Text, it’s not a pure productivity app like the first three on the list; it fulfills a different niche.
The virtual assistant has many features you’ll find useful, including location-based reminders, the ability to control your smart home devices, and a podcast player. We’re more interested in the talk-to-text feature.
You can use Google Assistant to make verbal reminders, create lists with your voice, and even manage your diary. The Assistant also lets you use speech-to-text to add events to your calendar.
To take the app’s voice-based capabilities to the next level, you should pair it IFTTT. There are lots of great IFTTT recipes for Google Assistant to get started with.
If you’re not a fan of Google Assistant, you could try Microsoft’s Cortana instead. The app, which has been available on Android since 2017, also lets you take verbal notes.
Download: Google Assistant (Free)
6. Speech to Text
The simply named Speech to Text app is lightweight and easy to use.
Because Speech to Text supports continuous speech recognition, it’s an ideal solution for long notes, essays, reports, and other lengthy documents. There is no limit on the size of file you can create.
The app offers custom keyboards, auto-spacing, auto-saving, and a way to edit the on-screen text while you are still dictating another part of the transcript.
Download: Speech to Text (Free)
You might not immediately think of Microsoft’s note-taking app as a dictation tool, but it’s great for people who want to keep verbal notes and aren’t interested in the speech-to-text side.
OneNote even comes with a special microphone widget that you can add to your home screen. To use the dictation widget, long-press any empty space on your home screen and go to Widgets > OneNote > OneNote Audio Note.
Of course, Evernote offers similar functionality. However, since mid-2016, many of Evernote’s best features require a subscription. OneNote is free for all users.
Download: OneNote (Free)
Get Even More Productive With Android
If you’re not used to taking verbal notes, you might find the transition jarring for a few days. However, once you become accustomed to the new routine, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
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