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August 21, 2015

5 free voice-to-text apps

Read (surely 'hear') all about Dragon Dictation, Speech to Text, Evernote, ListNote and Voice Texting Pro.

By Alexander Sword

Voice recognition technology, designed to automatically transcribe audio, is becoming steadily more advanced. Throw the concurrent advances in smartphones into the mix and you can now have dictation available whenever you need it. CBR rounds up some of the best voice recognition applications.


1. Dragon Dictation

Platform: iOS

Dragon products have been a leader in the speech transcription field since it was a fledgling category on desktop. Available only on iOS, Dragon Dictation requires a network connection to work.

Press a button to record and then the text can be copied and pasted into other applications. Unlike Dragon’s upcoming Dragon Anywhere app, which will charge a subscription fee, Dictation is free.

2. Speech to Text

Plaform: Android

This simple app from Xenom Apps, with 2,246 downloads on Google Play, allows you to dictate text and send it as an SMS, email or within another app. You can also send the dictations to phonebook contacts.

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Based on Android’s built-in Speech Recogniser, it is hence unavailable to iOS users. A common complaint about the app is the way it automatically stops when the speaker pauses in speech, even for a relatively short period.

3. Evernote

Platform: Android

As Evernote uses the built-in Android speech recognition software, the app requires you to be connected to a network to use it. The audio and text file are saved together to allow you to track down a note more easily.

There are also features to interact with other Evernote users such as in-app chat. Another free application, Evernote has been downloaded by over a million users from the Google Play Store.

4. ListNote Speech-to-Text Notes

Platform: Android

Produced by Khymaera, the free ListNote boasts over 16,000 downloads on Google Play. The interface provides a searchable index of notes, with options to back up notes on the SD card. You can customise the app according to your preferred way of speaking.

There are also password protection options offered, with protected notes encrypted with the AES standard after the first 20 characters.

5. Voice Texting Pro

Platform: iOS

This free offering from Sparking Apps is rated 4+ in the App Store. Requiring devices on iOS 5.1.1 or later, the mobile app is optimised for the iPhone 5.

Like most Apple software, the app prioritises user interface. All of its features are usefully offered from a single screen. There are in-app purchases available including voice texting and adding languages.

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