Whether you’re taking notes in a lecture or just being lazy while texting your friend, speech-to-text apps help you do that with ease. You just have to run the app and start talking. Unlike Tolkien’s one ring to rule them all, there is no one app for all the different scenarios. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the best Speech-to-Text apps for Android and iOS. Also to find the accuracy of these speech-to-text apps, we tested every app with a comprehensive paragraph of 100 words. Let’s check it out.
Best Speech To Text Apps
1. Google Assistant
The first app that comes to mind is Google’s very own virtual assistant. You can ask the Google Assistant to set a reminder, create a note, and send text messages without even physically touching the phone.
To create a note with the Assistant, simply say “Hey Google, take a note” after it prompts you ‘What’s the note’ start recording your notes. Keep your notes short and simple as it automatically stops the recording if you take long pauses. It saves the note in the Google Assistant app which you can access by visiting assistant.google.com or by saying ‘Show me my notes’. You can do the same for accessing your lists as well.
Google Assistant is pre-installed on Android devices and requires the Internet to function.
Accuracy: Google Assistant stopped listening after the first period and I had to rush through the sentence to check for accuracy. Error 7/100.
Gboard is a smart keyboard app from Google with a lot of interesting features, and speech-to-text is one of the most useful ones. Since it’s a keyboard app, you can use it to convert your speech to text in any app. I use it to type WhatsApp messages, make an entry on my journal app and typing sly comments on Reddit.
The best part about Gboard is that it does not require an Internet connection, although it does work better with one. Just make sure you have downloaded the language pack by going to Setting > System > Language and Input > Keyboard & Input methods > Virtual Keyboard > Gboard > Voice typing > Offline speech recognition.
To start voice typing, tap the mic icon on the keyboard (located on the top right of the keyboard). Unlike the Google Assistant, it keeps on recording and waits for your speech to resue even if you take long pauses.
Gboard is free on the Play Store and the App Store.
Accuracy: Gboard is fairly accurate and you can add punctuations easily. The error rate was even less as could speak at my natural pace. Error 5/100.
3. Google Keep
Google Keep is a note-taking app by Google. It uses the same API to transcribe your speech to text as Google Assistant’s but the usage is little different. Unlike Gboard which just transcribes your speech to text, Google Keep saves a copy of the audio file along with the transcription in the app. Taking notes in the classroom gets so much easier with this app. You can read the script and if you encounter an error, simply cross check it with the audio file and correct it. The word prediction is amazing and works with different accents without a hitch.
When you start taking notes with voice, it stops recording after a brief interruption in the speech and saves the note to the app. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an option for manually pausing transcription, otherwise, it would have been a perfect speech to text app for lectures and seminars. Google Keep is free on the Play Store and App Store.
Accuracy: Google Keep works okay but it doesn’t recognize punctuation even after I enunciate it. Error 12/100.
SpeechNotes is another note-taking app powered by Google’s Speech to Text API. You can use Speech Recognition to take notes on the app or manually type using the keyboard. What separates SpeechNotes from the rest is the sheer number of options it has. For instance – built-in text expander, print or export the files to the SD card, widget support and much more.
I prefer this app over others as it doesn’t stop recording automatically after a brief pause which makes it suitable for recording long lectures. The accuracy is on par with other Google apps as it uses the same API and you can add punctuation marks with the punctuation keyboard. You can switch to other languages and start transcribing instantly.
SpeechNotes has ads, you can get it on the Play Store for free.
Accuracy: With an exception of few words, the accuracy is very good. Error 8/100.
Install SpeechNotes (Android)
5. Speech To Text
this next app is an iOS exclusive and works on Apple’s Speech recognition used by Siri. You can use it to take notes during lectures and meetings. Grant the permission to use Speech recognition and you’re good to go. Tap Start Record to begin transcription, you can take pauses and it would keep waiting for you to resume speech. It doesn’t punctuate your sentences automatically but you can add punctuation by saying the word. For example, if you say comma after a sentence, it would detect and replace the word ‘comma’ with ‘,’. It works fine.
Most of the apps I tested are either paid or have a pricey subscription model. This app just uses Siri’s API. Speech To text is free and has ads which you can remove by paying a premium fee of $12.
Accuracy: The app had a hard time guessing the punctuations but it did get the words right and had a tiny margin of error. Error 8/100.
Install Speech To Text (iOS)
6. Live Transcribe
Next, the app is not a conventional speech to text app, it is an accessibility app designed for the disabled and the elderly. After granting the necessary permissions, the app sits in the accessibility menu and instantly starts translating once invoked. You can select a primary and a secondary language which you can switch with a tap of a button. Live Transcribe supports around 70 languages and can translate to any of them in real time. You just have to select a language in the settings to get started. The speech to text accuracy is great and it also censors curse words which is a nice addition.
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Live Transcribe is in early stages and may not be available of all the devices right now. You can get it on the Play Store for free.
Accuracy: It does detect period, comma, and a question mark but that’s about it. Error 4/100
Install Live Transcribe (Android)
Voicea is one of our fav speech-to-text apps, so much so that we covered it in one of our videos. It only supports the English language but it does support English accents like Ghana, Kenya, Philippines, India, etc. You can link your Google Calendar or Office 365 Calendar to automatically set a reminder in the app.
As you start recording with EVA (Voicea’s AI assistant), you can see the text appear on the screen and after you end the session, the audio clip is uploaded to the Voicea servers for detailed transcription. The accuracy lingers around 90% and it understands accents pretty well. Punctuation is added automatically by the app and after the transcription is processed by Voicea servers, most of the errors are removed.
Voicea keeps a log of all your transcripts and you can access those through the app. Although this service is meant for the organizations, it also offers free services in which you get a capped audio recording of 25 minutes/session, 150 minutes of transcripts/month. If you want to use it in your organization, you can check out their corporate plans.
Accuracy: Right of the bat, Voicea had the upper hand and it had guessed the punctuations correctly. Error 3/100.
Next, Otter is a smart transcribing app designed for note-taking. Using this app effectively can help you create comprehensive notes with just your voice. Otter automatically adds a timestamp in the note window and lets you add pictures to the note. The transcription happens in real time so you instantly share and edit your notes with your classmates and colleagues. You can playback the recording at different speeds.
Otter is free but only gives you 600 minutes a month, upgrading to the subscription would fetch you 6000 minutes a month for a $70/year. You can get it for the Play Store and App Store.
Accuracy: Error 10/100.
Which one are you going to use?
Okay Google, transcribe this. These were some of my picks for best Speech To Text Apps. Google has perfected their API in speech to text recognition and you just can’t avoid it. Google Keep, Gboard and the Assistant work almost seamlessly and offer accurate speech to text recognition. Otter and Voicea are great for transcribing business meetings and ListNote for lectures and seminars.