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How to Use Speech-to-Text on Android [updated]

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This article explains how to use speech-to-text on any Android device, regardless of manufacturer.

What You Should Know

  • Tap the microphone icon in a Text message box; tap again to stop recording. If required, edit the wording before sending the message.
  • Go to Settings > System > Language and input > On-screen keyboard to make changes.
  • Tap Settings > Plus (+) sign to add entries to the dictionary.

How to Use Speech-to-Text on Android

Android phones include a speech-to-text converter, which allows you to dictate text messages, emails, and other text that you would normally enter using the on-screen keyboard. It is turned on by default.

You may use your voice to dictate text in any app where you’d normally enter using the on-screen keyboard right away.

  1. Launch any app you can type into, such as Gmail or Messages, then tap in a text field.
  2. Select the Voice Input icon, which resembles a microphone. It’s in the upper right corner of the Gboard keyboard (the default for many Android phones). It could be somewhere else if you’re using another keyboard. Tap and hold the comma key on the popular Swype keyboard, for example, to activate the microphone.
  3. As you speak, your speech should be automatically converted to text. While dictating, some keyboards (such as Swype or Grammarly) may display a window with a microphone button. Tap to toggle between recording and pausing.
  4. When you’re done, tap the Voice Input icon again to stop recording. You can edit the text as normal if necessary, then send the message.The Microphone key on the Android keyboard and Send SMS highlighted in Android Messages

Speech-to-text conversion is different from using your Android phone to read text aloud to you.

How to Customize Speech-to-Text on Android

Start using your phone’s speech-to-text feature right away, or perhaps you should first customise its behavior. This is how.

The settings options may differ slightly depending on your Android version, but the steps are essentially the same.

  1. Go to Settings > System Language and input (or Settings > General Management Language and input on older devices).
  2. Tap On-screen keyboard.System, Language and input, and On-screen keyboard highlighted in Android Settings
  3. Tap Google voice typing.
  4. If your favourite language isn’t already selected, select it by tapping Languages. If your favourite language isn’t already installed, hit Add a Language or All, then download your preferred language. To dictate when there is no internet connection available, you must enable Offline speech recognition on some phones.
  5. You may also control how the speech-to-text engine reacts to vulgar language. If a potentially inappropriate term is dictated, it will be marked with an asterisk by default. You can change this by toggling. On or off, abusive words are blocked.Google Voice Typing, Add a language, and Block offensive words switched On in Android Settings

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Speech-to-Text

Because you can almost always dictate a message faster than you can type it, using speech instead of typing is a powerful way to save time and work more efficiently. Here are some pointers for making the most of text-to-speech technology.

  • Speak slowly and clearly. If you speak quickly or slur words together, the speech translation will be less accurate, and you will have to spend time revising it after it has been translated.
  • When you speak, use punctuation. Although it may appear strange at first, you may construct polished, ready-to-send texts by reciting the punctuation as part of the message, such as “Hello, how are you question mark I am fine period.”
  • Fill in the blanks in your customised dictionary. You can add specialist terms that you frequently use, as well as names of people and locations that Android has difficulty understanding. To add a language to the dictionary, open the Settings app and search for Personal dictionary, then hit the Plus (+) icon and select your language.
  • Avoid being in loud surroundings. Dictating in quiet areas will yield better results.


How do I turn off speech-to-text on Android?

Navigate to System or General Management > Language and input > To disable speech-to-text on Android, use the on-screen keyboard and hit the Google voice typing toggle.

How do I use text-to-speech on Android?

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Select to Speak to enable text-to-speech on Android. Turn on the Select to Speak toggle switch. Tap the Select to Speak icon > Play in any app to hear the phone read text aloud.

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