A lot of people like to make voice notes on the move. This is more convenient as it allows for a handsfree approach. You can take voice notes in the middle of anything, especially when you are working on something and want a quick way to record your thoughts more naturally. The real problem is that these voice notes can’t be edited later. For that, you will have to convert voice notes to text. That’s where mobile apps come into the picture.
There are plenty of apps for both Android and iOS that will let you convert voice notes to text irrespective of where you are at. These notes can then be edited and fine tuned based on further investigation, research, and thoughts. You can then organize these notes further with images, relevant links, more audio or video files.
Advantages of Voice to Text Apps
- Saves time
- Allows editing
- Add links, images, files to text notes
Disadvantages of Voice to Text Apps
- Voice to text can have some errors
- May require proofreading
1. Google Keep
Best for taking quick voice notes
Google Keep is an excellent note-taking app. What most people don’t know is that it is also useful for taking voice notes. When you record a voice note with Keep, it will automatically transcribe it into text for you. A new note will be created with the transcribed text and the voice note attached as a file at the bottom.
You can now edit the note to your liking. Keep also has a bunch of other features like drawing, adding checkboxes and labels, and so on and so forth. Really useful if you want to convert voice to text on the fly and keep both the formats saved in the cloud on a single note inside an app.
Google Keep is completely free with no ads whatsoever. It is easy and quick to use and the in-built search is powerful.
- Create text and voice notes
- Web, Android, iOS
Also Read: Best Note-Taking Apps for iPad Pro 2019
Best for taking audio notes and voice to text notes.
Evernote is another note-taking app that comes with the ability to take voice notes but there is a difference. You can’t take voice notes and convert it to text directly. Instead, you will have to use the built-in speech-to-text feature to convert your voice to text in real-time. If you create voice notes, those will not be converted to text notes.
This means you will have to choose between the two instead of having the ability to create and save both, as in Keep. This also means that your smartphone needs to have this feature.
- Create text or voice notes
- Web, Android, iOS, desktop
- Can’t create both voice and text notes together
Best for converting your calls into text notes.
There are other ways and reasons to take voice notes and have a handy app or service to turn it in to text. For example, you are a lawyer or a doctor and want to convert voice calls with clients or professors into text. These can be handy, no? NoNotes is a popular iOS app that provides transcription and calls recording services for 75¢/min.
Useful for when you don’t have the time to take notes while you are on a call and having an important discussion. This will also save you a lot of time later if you are using a call recorder and taking notes yourself manually.
- Useful for voice calls
- No free
- Only iOS
- Sharing sensitive data with the company
Download NoNotes: iOS
4. Dragon Anywhere
Best for taking voice notes and correcting it on the go
Dragon Naturally Speaking is probably the most famous speech recognition software available in the market right now. They have released mobile apps too and much like their desktop counterparts, Dragon Anywhere does a wonderful job of converting voice to text. It comes with a correction menu which makes editing text super fast and easy.
A recent version of the app has been found to carry some bugs, but the developers are working on it and should be fixed in the next version. The conversion is truly amazing. It also integrates with a number of third-party apps like GSuite and Evernote above among others. Pricing begins from $14.99/month.
- Leader in speech recognition
- Correction menu
- 3rd party app support
- Available on all platforms
- Editable text
- Current app version has some bugs
5. Google Keyboard
Best for voice input while browsing on Chrome and YouTube etc.
Google Keyboard is one of the most popular apps in the market and comes with a number of features like built-in integration with Search, Maps, YouTube and more. One of the core features is speech-to-text recognition. Why use Gboard? Because it will not only work as a keyboard but also double as a voice to text translator.
I like to use Gboard because it works inside any app. It doesn’t matter which note app you are using, you can use Gboard to take voice notes and turn it into text on the move.
- Works in all apps
- Available on all platforms
Best for taking voice notes with a lot of pauses
Notice how some speech or voice to text apps stop listening to what you are saying the moment you stop speaking? Speechnotes solves this issue. You can now take longer breaks, pause frequently, rethink what you want to say, and then begin where you left off. Speechnotes will still take dictation and works flawlessly.
There is a handy special keyboard that you can use to input numbers or special characters while dictating in real-time. This is a time saver. You can use this app offline and edit text even when the dictation mode is still on. This means real-time editing. The app is free to use and there are no subscriptions. Just some ads that are not intrusive either.
- Longer pauses
- Unique keyboard input
- Not available on iOS
Download Speechnotes: Android
Also Read: 8 Best Voice Recorder Apps for Android
Best for taking voice notes when the audio is not clear
Transcribe is for iOS users what Speechnotes was for Android users. There are some notable differences though. For example, you can subscribe not only voice but also video notes which opens up more ways to convert voice to text notes. This means you can now import saved files from your favorite cloud storage service.
Transcribe works really well and comes with no ads whatsoever. It is however paid and will cost you $4.99 per hour which is very expensive to be honest. The reason it is so popular is that it even works when the words are jumbled up or not clear. Some users have said that the app was able to convert voice to text with a lot of background noise.
- Works with low quality audio
- Supports video to text
- Editable text
- Cloud storage support
- Works on iOS only
Download Transcribe: iOS
Best for taking voice notes for travellers
If you are looking for a language translator that can convert voice to text in different languages, then iTranslate is one of the best apps you can get. With support for more than 100 languages, iTranslate will translate voice from one language or dialect to another and type it in for the other user to read in real-time. Useful for travelers who don’t know the native tongue.
Another useful feature is the ability to use the camera to translate text written on signboards. Don’t know what’s on menu? Either scan it using the Lens feature or call in the chef and ask him about today’s special. iTranslate will translate it in to English so you can order that weird looking dish!
- Convert language
- Supports 100+ languages
- Lens for written text
9. Live Transcribe
Best for senior citizens with visibility issues
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.
Must Read: Best Apps for Seniors living alone
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.
Install Live Transcribe (Android)
Best for transcribing YouTube and video lecture to text.
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.
Apps to Convert Voice to Text
Depending on your use case, you can use one or more of the above apps to convert voice to text. Whether you want to take notes or speak a foreign dialect, take dictation or convert phone recordings, there is an app for that on both Android and iOS that will help you reach your goals. So, which one are you using and why?