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 an app that will meet your needs.
Let’s get started.
Our first recommendation is Speechnotes.
The app’s best feature 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.
The keyboard also includes a custom keys row. You can use them to quickly add your most-used phrases, such as your name, signature, or greetings.
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.
Speechnotes is more geared towards lengthy dictations such as lectures or essays. Voice Notes takes the opposite approach—it specializes in taking short, 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 onscreen, 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 reminder, along with the type of alert you want to receive. You can also create reccurring reminders.
Finally, the app offers powerful organizational tools. They include customizable categories, colored tags, and the ability to import and export your notes.
SpeechTexter is a speech-to-text Android app that works both online and offline.
The app uses Google’s backend. Therefore, 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 > Languages and input > Keyboards and input method > 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 scroll down to the language you want.
In addition to basic dictation and speech-to-text, you can also use SpeechTexter to create SMS messages, emails, and tweets.
Lastly, the app boasts a custom dictionary. This makes it easy to add personal information such as phone numbers and addresses.
We’ll end with OneNote. 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 who 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 anywhere on your home screen and go to Widgets > OneNote > OneNote Audio Note.
If you’re not used to taking verbal notes, you might find the transition a bit jarring for a few days. However, once you become accustomed to the new routine, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Using speech-to-text apps on Android is a faster and easier way to stay on top of your life.