Dictation

The new MacBook Air keyboard has dedicated keys for Spotlight, Dictation, DND and Emoji

Apple's just-refreshed MacBook Air with the new Apple M1 laptop chip that was announced yesterday features an updated media key layout in the function row, with the new shortcuts for Dictation, Spotlight and Do Not Disturb functions replacing the previous keys for adjusting brightness and invoking the Launchpad feature. Also, there's now a dedicated Emoji key.

A quick and easy guide to keyboard dictation on Mac

Guide to Dictation on Mac

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you had to continue working or writing on Mac when you were unable to type, what did you do? Your Mac offers a nice dictation feature for these times and it’s easier to use than you probably think.

This guide will help you enable, use, and disable dictation on your Mac. So if you find yourself with an injury preventing you from typing or simply want to give dictation a try, here’s how to use on Mac.

How to create custom Voice Control commands on Mac

Voice Control Preferences Mac List Command

The Voice Control feature on macOS gives you a great way to maneuver your Mac with nothing but your voice. You can open menus, use dictation in apps, and adjust your settings.

One flexible part of Voice Control is that you can create custom commands and vocabulary. This is handy for having your Mac respond to words and phrases that are most comfortable to you.

Here’s how to create custom Voice Control commands on your Mac.

How to use Voice Control to navigate your Mac

Use Voice Control Grid Mac

With the macOS Catalina update, Apple introduced a helpful feature called Voice Control. Using Voice Control, you can navigate your Mac using only your voice. This is an enhancement to the previous dictation feature available on macOS and is quite useful for many people in different situations.

You can easily enable Voice Control and use it like you would any other input device, like your keyboard or mouse. But with Voice Control comes a bit of a learning curve. This includes knowing and even remembering basic navigational and app commands.

To help you get started, this tutorial shows you how to use Voice Control to navigate your Mac.

How to opt out of Siri grading and delete your audio history from Apple’s servers

You can elevate your privacy by opting out of Siri grading on any Apple devices you happen to own, as well as delete your Siri history pertaining to a specific device from the company's servers. Follow along with iDownloadBlog as we show you how to prevent Apple from storing audio recordings of your Siri and Dictation interactions, as well as delete your Siri history.

EasyKeyboardX replaces your keyboard’s Dictation button with other shortcuts

Some people use iOS’ Dictation feature more than others, but if you find yourself on the opposite side of the spectrum and not using it as much as you’d initially anticipated, then you just might benefit from a newly-released jailbreak tweak called EasyKeyboardX by iOS developer Soh Satoh.

EasyKeyboardX essentially replaces the Dictation key on the iOS keyboard with a configurable shortcut key instead. With it, you can either use the button to switch between your enabled keyboards more quickly, or you can enter a specific text string that you’d like to be able to paste into any text field in a jiffy.

Head of Apple’s speech team explains how Siri learns new languages

Just how exactly does Siri learn a new language? In today's interview with Reuters, Apple's speech team head Alex Acero offered a behind-the-scenes look at how Siri is being taught new languages, a process that involves script-writing, capturing voices in multiple accents and dialects and using machine learning and artificial intelligence to build and evolve new language models over time. The system requires a team of people tasked with reading passages of manually transcribed text.

Before actually updating Siri, Apple first rolls out Dictation support for a new language.

Siri currently speaks 21 languages in 36 countries. By comparison, Microsoft's Cortana supports eight languages tailored for thirteen countries, Google Assistant speaks four languages while Amazon's Alexa works only in English and German.

Am I the only one wanting a keyboard on Apple Watch?

Call me crazy or call me what you will, but when I saw Android Wear 2.0 was bringing support for third-party keyboards, I immediately started imagining how useful that would be on my Apple Watch.

Of course the screen is too small to accommodate a keyboard. Heck, it’s already too small to punch in your passcode without missing a tap target. Still, not only do I think there may me a need for it, but I also believe the technology to make this right is now available.

tvOS 9.2 is here: Dictation, folders, Live Photos, wireless keyboards, iCloud Photo Library & more

tvOS 9.2, a new update for the operating system which powers the fourth-generation Apple TV, is now available for public consumption. The new firmware, released alongside iOS 9.3, OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 and watchOS 2.2, is a very interesting update for the cool new features it brings to the table.

tvOS 9.2 enables several features missing from the initial tvOS release, including long-awaited support for wireless keyboards, dictation, Siri support for App Store searches, app folders on the Home screen, a revamped app switcher, Siri Remote improvements, support for Live Photos and iCloud Photo Library and more.

How to get your Mac to speak any selected text

Your Mac, just like any iOS devices you own, comes with the ability to speak selected text. This comes in handy when you can't see the text very well and would find it useful to have the text read out loud to you.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can make your Mac speak a selected body of text with ease.

tvOS 9.2 beta 3 preview: Search the App Store with Siri, use Dictation to enter text and login credentials

It seems like every time there's a new tvOS beta, an interesting new feature is included for us to talk about. With tvOS 9.2 beta 3, that new feature is the ability to use Dictation on text input fields. It also includes the ability to dictate—character by character—usernames and passwords.

Along with the new Dictation feature, comes support for searching the App Store using voice input from the Siri Remote. Have a look at our video preview that showcases each new feature in action.