Android phone, take dictation! No, not a vacation!
May 18, 2016 7:43 AM   Subscribe

I write best while I'm walking, and for an upcoming project I'd like to streamline this using some sort of speech-to-text word-processing setup on my Google Nexus phone. Google's native voice recognition in Docs hates my voice and produces only large paragraphs of semipunctuated gibberish. What app(s) + accessories setup will give me accurate, extended voice-to-text transcription with minimal oversight, ideally also with good punctuation functionality?

Basically, I'd like to put on a Bluetooth headset, slip my phone in my pocket, and talk through my notes mid-stride while keeping my eyes on a book or on the scenery, come home and find all that text tidily and accurately transcribed in a document file somewhere. It'd be super-great if I had a touch-free, voice-activated way to switch back and forth between whole-word transcription and spelling out hard words letter-by-letter, since I'm often dealing with gnarly names/vocab that I'd prefer not to leave up to the phone's conjecture.

I have no idea whether it's my voice (female, but not all that high-pitched, I don't think?) or the inherent unpredictability of the kind of text I'm generating, but when I try to do this in Docs, Google's transcription is horribly inaccurate for me. Back in the day, Dragon was the place to go for this sort of thing, but their current app seems to emphasize "mobile assistant" features while not mentioning transcription at all, and a cursory Googling for "best transcription app" listicles got overwhelming extremely fast. Is there a One Best Way anyone's found to do this? Free would be better, but I'll be willing to spend up to $50 (~+) for something that really, really works. Thanks!
posted by Bardolph to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In the absence of a good mobile app, it might be worth trying to just make a simple voice recording on the phone and then transfer the recording to a computer to use transcription software which might do a better job.
posted by exogenous at 11:13 AM on May 18, 2016

I've searched for this very functionality on Android and found none. Its just not made for that. I've ended up using the TextEdit and Dictation apps that come with OS X.
posted by falsedmitri at 6:29 PM on May 18, 2016

Me too! I'm experimenting now with carrying a mini-mike, not Bluetooth but jacked. It's a little better. I haven't yet found a good app, but there's got to be one.
I am thinking of doing what exogenous says and just recording and then playing it into Windows Speech Rec or Dragon later.
posted by my-sharona at 9:33 PM on May 18, 2016

Oddly enough, I've found that the Google Translate voice recognition is shockingly accurate, even when the mic pickup is across my desk and half-covered in debris. Is there a way to somehow text dump from that process, or at least find another of their apps that builds off the same voice-rec engine? Android's baked in voice software is underwhelming at best, and for me sees the most use when gmaps pops up saying "Finding best directions to: no no shut up fuck you google shut up".
posted by FatherDagon at 1:12 PM on May 19, 2016

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