Both Google and Apple have made great leaps on the speech-to-text conversion front, which is why both Android devices and iOS devices have the capability to turn spoken words into text built into them. Both Apple devices and iOS devices come with built-in speech-to-text functionality which, to top it all off, is on par with their computer competition and any third-party speech-to-text applications available for either platform. To use your phone or tablet’s built-in speech-to-text functionality to convert voice into text, you need to:
On an Android device:
On any screen or in any field where text can be entered, bring up your Android device’s keyboard.
Tap on the Microphone button to bring up the voice-to-text conversion keyboard. This button may be hiding on your keyboard, and if that’s the case, you can cause it to show itself by long-pressing one of the few non-character buttons (such as the Emoji button, the comma (,) button or the Space button) on your keyboard. It should be noted that only your device’s default keyboard and some third-party keyboards have the voice-to-text conversion keyboard integrated into them.
When you bring up the voice-to-text conversion keyboard, it will automatically start listening to you, so speak what you want converted into text and it will be. To get the keyboard to stop listening to you, tap on the Microphone and tap on it again to get it to start listening again.
On Android devices, speech-to-text conversion is made possible by Google voice typing, Google’s voice-to-text converting keyboard which was introduced in Android 4.4 KitKat. As accurate as it is, the best thing about Google voice typing is that it works even when your device is not connected to the internet, unlike its iOS counterpart (as is discussed below).
On an iOS device
On any screen or in any field where text can be entered, bring up your iOS device’s keyboard.
Tap on the Microphone button next to the Space button on your keyboard to get your device to start listening to you.
Your device will start listening to you as soon as you tap on the Microphone button, so start dictating to it immediately. You can tap on the Microphone button to get your device to stop listening and tap on it again to get it to start listening again.
The version of voice-to-text functionality on iOS that is actually any good was introduced to users with iOS 8. Unfortunately, the speech-to-text functionality on iOS devices requires them to be connected to the internet in order for them to work.
Pro Tip: The accuracy of speech-to-text conversion doesn’t depend on whether you use a built-in program or utility or a more sophisticated, paid application as much as it does on the hardware used to transmit your voice to the computer/tablet/phone and your surroundings at the time of the conversion. You will see much more accurate speech-to-text conversion when your voice is being transmitted to your device through a quality microphone in conditions with low ambient noise in your surroundings.