Dictate App Features
Dictation made easy
Never type any text, just dictate it using your speech!
Dictate offers support for storing the input audio along with the text transcription. Each time you append your text by dictation or file transcription Dictate will append that audio to the previous recording. Thus you get a full audio track of all your successive dictation sessions.
Audio File Transcription
Dictate offers support for file transcription. You can select audio files stored on you device and transcribe them into written text. Please note these recordings must be made with the speaker located very near the device microphone. It will NOT work for 'room' recordings or 'video' conference recordings or the like !
iCloud Drive & Device Sync
Since iOS V2.30 and macOS V1.22 Dictate offers support to store and access your dictated text via iCloud. Of course your text still can be stored locally on your device. You can set your preferred storage model in the app settings.
Furthermore using iCloud Drive your iOS & macOS devices synchronise their text on all text zones. Text that is dictated into one device magically appears on all other devices where you are logged in with the same AppleID.
Please find more details below.
Dictate has offline support for the following languages: English (US,CA,UK,IN), German, Spanish (US,MX,ES), Italian, Portuguese (BR), Russian, Turkish, Chinese.
This feature requires iOS 13.3+ and you need to setup offline dictation correctly with your device. Please the section Setup off-line dictation below !
No dictation time limit
With Dictate you don't have any dictation time limits anymore like in the iOS dictation function which stop usually between 30-60 seconds.
More Than 40 Languages
Dictate offers more than 40 languges, including: English, Deutsch, Nederlands, Dansk, Español, Français, Hrvatski, Italiano, Pусский, Magyar, Norsk bokmål, Polski, Português, Bahasa Melayu, Indonesia, Tiếng Việt, Türkçe, Català, Română, Slovenčina, Suomi, Svenska, čeština, 中文, 粵語, ไทย, 日本語, 한국어, עברית, العربية, Ελληνικά, українська
Using the clipboard technology, nearly every app that can send and receive text messages can be configured to operate with Dictate.
Dictate offers 3 text zones which you can use for different projects. Easily switch between text zones with one klick. Text zone A can sync to iCloud, zones B and C store locally.
In addition to dictation you can edit your text manually in case you want do some formatting of just correct small errors.
Using the new translation feature you can translate your text into any other supported language. Once translated you can send the text as usual.
We offer a free 3 day testing period where you can test Dictate without any fees.
Applications of Dictate
Setup Offline Dictation
The following requires iOS 13.3 on your device. Earlier versions not not support offline dictation !
To setup offline dictation please open the "Settings" App and navigate to "General -> Keyboard". Then switch on "Enable Dictation".
Your device will then load offline dictation files from Apple. This process can take a long time. It takes place in the background and requires a good WIFI connection. Unfortunately there is no feedback from Apple when the process is completed or if it is still running. It is a little bit clunky and requires to tweak around with it. Sometimes on the next day it may work magically.
Please wait until a text occurs below the indicting that the language is available offline (see screenshot on the left).
You can also configure more than one language for offline support. This requires you to enable the corresponding keyboard above. If you have configured only one keyboard language the "Dictation languages" sub menu will not be presented.
If you have more than one language configured you need to open the sub menu "Dictation languages" and enable the languages there.
You can test offline support by opening a keyboard (e.g. using Notes App). If on the left side of the space bar there is a little microphone you can long-press it to see wether or what languages are available. Of course you need to be offline for this test !!!
Frequently Asked Questions
When I press the "Upgrade" button I am requested to enter my AppleID, is this normal ?
Yes, in order to check your subscription status we require users to log in with their AppleID. The benefit to the user is that renewal of subcription does not require any further interaction.
- What is the "Sync text across devices" in the "Setup" screen feature for ?
- My record button is disabled. What is wrong ?
- My trial period is over. What are my options ?
- When I press the "Start" button I am presented with the "Upgrade" screen. Why ?
- I previously purchased the life-long "Pro Version" but the app says "Expired".
- I have purchased, but the app does not recognize it. How to solve this ?
- When I press "Start" the dictation stops and throws an iCloud error. Why ?
- What is the difference between the Pro the and Free Version ?
- Does Dictate support dictation when offline (no internet) ?
- How do I edit my text ?
- Where do I find my text files ?
Dictate App User Manual
Functions on the Main Screen
Manual text editing
Click into the text field whenever you want to manually correct your text. This will popup the keyboard. The keyboard only appears when dictation is stopped. You can position the cursor (insert point) and edit your text at any time (except when dictation is in progress). If you leave Edit mode by pressing the "Dismiss keyboard" button in the top bar, the next dictation will insert at the current cursor position in the text. This allows to insert text by dictation in the middle of your text.
Switch Text Zones/Languages
Using this selector you can switch your text zones. There are 3 text zones which can be used to work on different projects at the same time. Each text zone will store and recover its text when you switch it. You can think of each text zone as a separate 'file'.
Each text zone can be assigned a different language, so that you can switch the dictation language with one click. Note that you can set all 3 text zones to the same language. This way you can have 3 independent "projects" e.g. in your native language. For details please see the 'Setup Screen' section below.
When using the iCloud storage model (s. Setup screen) any text is synchronized to your other devices. That means you can start a project on your Mac and continue on your iPhone without any action to transfer the text. It is already there.
To use this feature you need to be logged in into your iCloud account and you need to have given permission for Dictate to access it. Otherwise it will throw errors each time you try to dictate new text.
If you don't have more than one device you can safely switch off iCloud Sync. Please refer to Setup section below.
Please note that when you delete Dictate from your device your texts are also lost, if they are stored using the local storage model.
This will open a second button bar, showing more functions:
- Import Text
- Export Text
- Print Text
- Translate Text
- Audio File Transcription
This will remove the second button bar in order to save space in the GUI.
Help button offers links to:
- Dictation Commands
- User manual
- Email Support Request
Press Setup to open the app configuration screen. There you can select the dictation language, the font size and en-/disable, the iCloud synchronization feature and much more. For further details please refer to setup screen description below.
Import Text allows the user to import any plain text file into Dictate in order to append and/or modify the text.
Export text allows to save the text into a file which can be further processed in other texting apps. For convenience you can also make use of the Share function to directly feed text into others apps like Email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
This will open a printer dialog. Please note you can set the text font size for printing in the Setup screen.
Push this button to translate your text. Please note that the translation text length is restricted to 8000 characters. A new window will appear containing the translated text. You can send it us usual.
To configure the target language for the translation please go into the settings screen and change the translation language to your needs.
This function allows to transcribe voice memos into text. Please note:
File transcription is optimized for voice memos made with the speaker directly in front of the microphone. It will NOT do a good job with room recordings, interview recordings, video conference recordings, chat recordings or loud speaker transmitted recordings, even when the perceived audio quality is high.
The function opens a file dialog requesting for the audio file to be transcribed. It will start transcription right after that. Only audio formats are supported, no video formats.
Note further that file transcription is slow depending on the device. Since iOS15 it can work faster than realtime on devices having at least an A12 chip inside. Other it will take the playing time of the file to transcribe.
Delete Text Button
Press the delete button to erase your current text field. A security requester will ask if you are sure. If you say "Yes" there is no way to recover your previous text.
Press this button to start and stop dictation.
Dictate has no time limits, but it will terminated dictation when it does not recognize speech for more than a minute. This is a safety feature to avoid draining your battery completely because you just forgot to stop dictation.
Please note further that under certain conditions this button might be disabled. Please refer to our FAQ for solving these problems.
The Send button transfers your text to other (configured) apps where you can further process it or just send it as a message. Most of the social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Message, Email and more can be configured to receive your dictated text.
Functions on the Setup Screen
Selecting Languages for Text Zones
In the upper area you can setup the speech to text transcription languages for each text zone. There are more than 40 languages available.
You can select a different language for each of the 3 text zones or select the same language for all text zones in case you don't want to dictate in several languages.
Language is changed by clicking onto one of the 3 flags. These correspond to the 3 zone selection flag shown on the main view.
1. Select the text zone (pressing one of the flags) for which you want to change the language.
2. Select the language using the language selector.
The selected language is immediately assigned to the selected text zone. For easy visualization the 3 text zones are shown with flags representing the selected language. The same applies for the main screen, where you can switch easily between your configured languages.
You change the translation language here by clicking onto the language flag. There is only one target translation language for all 3 text zones.
Here you can set the text font size of the text field and the button sizes shown in the main screen.
Further, you can hide the button captions in case you are familiar with the button functions and want to free the space used by the captions.
These settings are especially helpful for disabled persons which can select very large font sizes and/or button sizes to improve the readability.
If you enable 'Store on iCloud' switch, all your text will be stored on your iCloud Drive. If you disable it your text is stored locally on your device.
If you enable 'Store Audio Tracks' switch, Dictate will also store an audio recording of your dictations. Each time you press Record the new audio will be appended tp the existing audio. Please note the 'Delete' will not only clear you text field but also delete the audio recording file.
If you enable 'Share Audio File' switch, Dictate will not only transfer your text to third party apps, but also the audio recording. This currently works e.g. with the email App.
If you enable 'Create Backups' switch, every time you close the keyboard or you end dictation, a copy of your current text is stored on your iCloud Drive. You find the backups in your iCloud Drive in Dictate/Backups/textzone_X. Each backup file is named with date and time it was saved. There is a maximum of the 10 latest backups stored.
'Open storage location' will open the Files app (or the Finder on macOS) and show you the underlying audio and text files for the text zones. This function will obey your storage model settings.
'Disable screen lock' will disable the auto screen lock of your device even when you are NOT currently making a recording. Use it with care since leaving the device in this mode might drain you battery fast. It is intended for visual impaired users.
'Copy text to clipboard on exit' will automatically copy your whole text from the text field into the clipboard each time you terminated or leave the app. This is a convenience function for power users who want to insert the text in another app fast.
'Enable transcription' enables the file transcription function which allows to transcribe from files instead of the mic input.
'Safety Requester on Clear' will enable or disable the safety dialog when you delete your text field. Handle with care, since disabling it will immediately delete your text, which can not be recovered (except you have backup feature enabled).
'Use default colors' will make the app accent color to system blue instead of the default logo colors.
'Reset user preferences' will delete all your settings (including expiration date) and put Dictate into 'factory mode'. This can be helpful if you encounter problems with Dictate not storing your language settings or when problems occur restoring purchases.
Functions on the Upgrade Screen
Press the wanted product and you will be guided through the purchasing process.
If you are currently subscribed your subscription period will be shown in the respective product offer area. You cannot purchase a product twice. If you already are subscribed to a product clicking on the purchase button will just restore this purchase for free.
Restore Purchases Button
Press this button if you want to restore previously made purchases. Normaly expired subscription are renewed automatically on opening the upgrade screen, but life long Pro Versions are not. If you own these and did a reinstall of Dictate or got a new device you have to restore by pressing this button.
All restore actions are for free, because you already have payed for them.
Text Synchronization Across Devices
All devices running Dictate (with iCloud storage model enabled) synchronise their text automatically. This is possible due to the predefined and unchangeable filenames: 'textzone_A.txt', 'textzone_B.txt' and 'textzone_C.txt'.
Sometimes it takes a longer time to update the text on all devices. Sometimes the sync gets lost. In this case switch off and on again the iCloud storage on the device which has lost its sync.
Text Storage File Locations
You can access your dictations as a text file at the following filesystem locations. The exact location depends on your selected storage model (iCloud or Local) and on the platform (macOS or iOS).
iOS & macOS with iCloud storage model
The Dictate app will create a Folder 'Dictate' on your iCloud Drive as soon as you enable the iCloud storage model in the app settings. All your text can be found inside this folder. The filenames are fixed: 'textzone_A.txt', 'textzone_B.txt' and textzone_C.txt' respectively.
You can access these files on:
- iOS via the iOS 'Files' App or any other app using iCloud Drive
- macOS via the Finder -> iCloud Drive -> Dictate
iOS with local storage model
The only way to access your text files using the local storage model is iTunes File Sharing, when your device is cable connected to your Mac:
1. Connect your device with your Mac
2. Open iTunes (or Finder for macOS 10.15 upwards) and select your device
3. Look for "Files" and find your text files under "Dictate".
For each text zone there is a file named "Textzone_A.txt", "Textzone_B.txt" and "Textzone_C.txt" respectively.
Attention ! These files are copies of your text. It is not possible to transfer text to Dictate by copying files into the "Files" section of iTunes.
macOS with local storage model
The storage locations on macOS for local files are:
- /Users/ YOUR_USER_NAME/ Library/ Containers/ com.IBNSoft.SpeechWriter/ Data/ Documents/ textzone_[ABC].txt
Backup file locations
Backups are only available using the storage model 'iCloud Drive'. You will find your backup text files:
- on iOS using the Files App under iCloud -> Dictate -> Backups -> textzone_X -> DateTTime.txt
- on macOS under 'iCloud Drive'/ Dictate/ Backups/ textzone_X/ DateTTime.txt
There will be a maximum of 10 backup files for each textzone. As new backup files occur in the folder, the older ones are deleted to keep the number of files less than 10. Backups are made when you close the keyboard (iOS only) and when you finish a recording by pressing the stop button.