Use speech-to-text on your phone instead of typing

Use the transcription feature instead of typing on your phone.


Using the built-in speech to text capability in your phone can be a lot faster than typing for many people. Speech to text has become quite accurate and convenient on most smartphones, although you must still speak very clearly, in a relatively quiet place. Today we’re going to demonstrate how to use transcription on your phone.

How to do it on Android

How to do it on iPhone

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Open up any app on your phone that requires you to type. For example: WhatsApp, your email app, or your favorite search engine.
  2. Click on the area where you are supposed to type so that the keyboard appears.
  3. Look for a small microphone button in or near your keyboard. Different apps can put this button in different places, so look around a little if you don’t see it immediately. (Some applications, like WhatsApp, also have their own microphone button that allow you to record sound bites or do other tasks. Try these features out as well when you’re done with this lesson.)
  4. To start transcribing, tap the microphone button, wait a second, then start talking slowly and clearly into your phone. In some applications you might need to press and hold the microphone button.
  5. After a short delay, you should see your words start to appear in the application..


  • transcription usually requires an internet connection, but try it out even if you don’t have a connection; it might work anyway.
  • To add a comma or period, say the word “comma” or “period”.
  • Take a moment to think what you want to say before clicking the microphone; otherwise your “ummmm”s and “urrr”s will be transcribed too!
  • You can transcribe in other languages. To do so, change the keyboard language to the language that you wish to speak in.


  • Open WhatsApp and try dictating a few messages to someone.
  • Try an internet search by speaking your search terms.
  • If you speak another language, try to transcribe some words in that language.

Well done! 

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