iOS 17 comes with several enhancements to dictation anywhere that allow you to dictate text anywhere you can type on your iPhone or iPad. Dictation is a handy feature that lets you speak naturally and convert your speech to text quickly and accurately using the power of machine learning.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using dictation in iOS 17, including how to turn it on, use it anywhere, dictate in different languages, create a Personal Voice, use third party apps like Dragon Anywhere, and take advantage of new features like inline predictions. With these tips, you’ll be able to maximize the power of dictation to speed up typing and text input throughout iOS.
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The first step to using dictation on your iPhone or iPad is to make sure the feature is enabled. Here’s how to turn on dictation in iOS 17:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on Keyboard.
- Turn on the switch next to Enable Dictation.
- If prompted, tap Enable Dictation again to confirm.
That’s it! Dictation is now enabled and ready to use across your iOS device. The microphone icon will appear on your keyboard whenever dictation can be used.
Use Dictation Anywhere You Can Type
With Dictation turned on, you can now dictate text anywhere that allows text input on your iPhone or iPad. To start dictating, simply tap the microphone icon on your keyboard and start speaking.
Here are some of the places you can use dictation:
- Messaging apps like Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc.
- Notes app
- Reminders app
- Calendar events
- Safari website URLs and search fields
- Third party apps like Gmail, Slack, Trello etc.
Dictation converts your speech to text in real-time. You’ll see the text appear as you speak. You can continue dictating or tap Done when you’re finished.
A great aspect of dictation is that you can also use the keyboard at the same time. The keyboard stays open while you dictate, allowing you to easily switch between typing and speaking or combine both.
For example, you can dictate a sentence then manually add punctuation at the end. Or you can manually select text you dictated and replace it by speaking. This makes dictation even more versatile.
Dictate Text in Multiple Languages
iOS dictation supports over 30 languages, so you can dictate text in the language you’re most comfortable with. Dictated text will be converted to text automatically in the chosen language.
To change the dictation language:
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.
- Tap Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.
- Select the language you want to add.
Now when you tap the globe icon on your keyboard, you can quickly switch between languages for dictation.
Note that most dictation languages require an internet connection to work properly. However, on iPhone models with Apple Silicon, you can dictate text offline in several languages including English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, and more.
Create a Personal Voice for Siri
iOS 17 includes an exciting new Accessibility feature – Personal Voice. With Personal Voice, you can create a custom voice that sounds like you to be used for Siri, VoiceOver, and other text-to-speech features on your iPhone and iPad.
Here is how to set up your own Personal Voice in iOS 17:
- Go to Settings > Accessibility > Personal Voice > Create a Personal Voice.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to record a series of phrases that will be used to generate your voice profile.
- On the next screen, you can listen to different voice options and choose one that best resembles your own voice.
- Give your voice profile a name then tap Save.
Once enabled, your custom voice will be available as an option for Siri, spoken notifications, VoiceOver and other text-to-speech features. You can make tweaks to it at any time from the Personal Voice menu.
Having your own voice makes using assistive features much more natural. It’s one of the most personalizing capabilities Apple has added for Accessibility.
Use Third Party Apps Like Dragon Anywhere
In addition to the built-in dictation features in iOS, you can also use third party dictation apps for additional functionality. One of the most popular is Dragon Anywhere from Nuance.
Dragon Anywhere provides professional-grade dictation that often has higher accuracy than the native iOS dictation engine. Key benefits include:
- Ability to add punctuation and formatting by voice command
- Support for specialized vocabulary like medical or legal terms
- Seamless syncing between devices when using a Nuance account
- Ability to use a Bluetooth headset mic for better audio quality
To use Dragon Anywhere:
- Download the Dragon Anywhere app from the App Store.
- Sign up for a free or paid Nuance account.
- Allow the app to access the microphone when prompted.
- Tap the mic icon and start dictating!
Dragon Anywhere is available as a free app with limited usage or through paid monthly and annual subscription plans. It’s a great way to boost productivity using dictation across your iPhone and iPad.
Use Inline Predictions for Faster Text Completion
iOS 17 comes with enhanced machine learning that allows the keyboard autocorrect and text predictions to better learn your typing habits. One of the biggest improvements is support for inline predictions.
Inline predictions allow the keyboard to suggest full words or even complete phrases as you type. To accept the suggestion, just tap the space bar instead of tapping the prediction itself.
For example, if you start typing “looking forward to…”, the keyboard may suggest “seeing you” after just a few characters. Simply tap the space bar to insert the full phrase inline without lifting your finger.
You can continue accepting these inline predictions to quickly compose entire sentences with just taps rather than typing each word manually. It’s great for speeding up text input once your keyboard learns your common phrases.
The autocorrect engine also does a better job at fixing typos or identifying the next probable word as you type. Over time, it will learn from your own writing style.
You can help train it faster by actively selecting predictions when they fit what you want to type. This positive reinforcement helps iOS understand your unique vocabulary, writing style and texting habits.
Use Hidden Dictation Features
Beyond the basics, there are some hidden dictation features in iOS 17 that can help optimize the experience:
- Insert emojis by voice – Say “happy face emoji” or any other emoji name to insert it.
- Capitalize words – Say “all caps on” to make dictate text uppercase. Say “all caps off” to go back to normal dictation.
- Insert punctuation – Say commas, periods, question marks etc. where you want them to automatically punctuate dictated text.
- Move cursor – Say “Move cursor to end of sentence” or “Move cursor before last word” to quickly navigate dictated text.
- Replace text – Select text you dictated and say “Replace X with Y” to quickly edit specific words.
- Undo changes – Saying “Undo that” will undo your previous edit.
Take the time to experiment with voice commands like these to boost your dictation productivity. With some practice, dictating text can start to feel as natural as typing.
Dictation on iOS has improved by leaps and bounds over the years. With new features in iOS 17 like Personal Voice and inline predictions, it’s easier than ever to minimize typing and maximize productivity.
Whether you want to reply to messages faster, take quick notes on the go, or dictate lengthy documents, these tips will help you get the most out of dictation. With the right techniques, you may find yourself relying on your voice more than your fingers when using your iPhone and iPad.
The next time you need to enter text, remember to tap that microphone icon. Dictation can save you time and effort while making the most of the intelligent features built into iOS.
1. Does dictation work offline?
Most dictation requires an internet connection to function properly. However, on newer iPhone models with Apple silicon, you can use on-device dictation for selected languages like English, Mandarin Chinese, French, and German without an internet connection. Offline dictation has no time limit.
2. Is dictation accurate?
Dictation accuracy has improved tremendously thanks to advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, it may still make occasional errors, especially with complex sentences or unfamiliar words. Accuracy can vary based on your speech patterns.
3. Can Siri dictate text for me?
Yes, you can ask Siri to dictate text for you by saying something like “Hey Siri, text Mom…” and dictating your message. Siri will transcribe your speech to text and insert it where you requested.
4. How do I edit text I dictated?
You can edit dictated text just like normal typed text. Tap somewhere in the text to bring up the cursor, then use the keyboard or your voice (“replace X with Y”) to make changes. You can also select and delete dictated text if needed.
5. What iOS versions include dictation?
Dictation has been around since iOS 5. It’s been improved and expanded with each subsequent iOS release. To get the latest dictation features, use the most current iOS version possible. iOS 17 provides the most intelligent dictation experience yet.
Table summarizing the key dictation features in iOS 17:
|Dictation anywhere||Dictate text wherever you can type|
|Multiple languages||Dictation works in over 30 languages|
|Personal Voice||Create a custom Siri voice that sounds like you|
|Third party apps||Use Dragon Anywhere for advanced dictation|
|Inline predictions||Tap spacebar to quickly accept predictive text|
|Hidden commands||Insert emojis, punctuation, etc. by voice|