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How to Dictate to an Android Phone

Voice input is available on an Android phone whenever you see the Microphone icon. To begin voice input, touch its icon. The Voice Input screen appears. When you see the text Speak Now, speak directly at the phone.

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As you speak, the Microphone icon flashes. The flashing doesn’t mean that the phone is embarrassed by what you’re saying. No, the flashing merely indicates that the phone is listening, detecting the volume of your voice.

After you stop talking, the phone digests what you said. You see your voice input appear as a wavelike pattern on the screen. Eventually, the text you spoke — or a close approximation of it — appears on the screen. It’s magical, and sometimes comical.

  • The first time you try to use Voice Input, you might see its description displayed. Touch the OK button to continue.

  • The Dictation feature works only when voice input is allowed. Not every application features voice input as an option.

  • The better your diction, the better the results. Try to speak only a sentence or less.

  • You can edit your voice input just as you edit any text.

  • You have to “speak” punctuation to include it in your text. For example, you say, “I’m sorry comma Dave period” to have the phone produce the text I’m sorry, Dave.

  • Common punctuation marks that you can dictate include the comma, period, exclamation point, question mark, and colon.

  • Pause your speech before and after speaking punctuation.

  • There’s no way to dictate a capital letter, though you can say “Period” and then the first letter of the next word will be capitalized. (It’s easier to edit your text and remove excess periods than to edit your text to capitalize.)

  • Voice input may not function when no cellular data or Wi-Fi connection is available.

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