close
close
Guide

Dictating on the iPhone – how to get the best results

Dictating on the iPhone, I would say, is something I do more than type. Siri is also the main way I control my HomeKit devices.

Every time I’ve mentioned one of these things, there are always comments from people saying how awful their experience with both is, so I thought I’d share a few things that I think make a difference .

If you’ve just updated to iOS 16, now’s a particularly good time to give dictation another try, as you can now easily combine speaking and typing…

Isolate your voice from background noise

We cannot control the environment we find ourselves in and I fully appreciate that I work from home and therefore generally do not compete with loud background noise. If you work in a factory, on a construction site, etc., environmental noise can be too much of a challenge.

But I still use Siri when I’m on the street and in other noisy environments, and it still works well for me. The secret here I think is to isolate your voice as much as possible. Holding your phone or watch close to your mouth is an obvious step, but when the noise is mostly coming from one direction (like traffic on the street), turning away from the source of the noise can make a world of difference.

Speak clearly

One of the things I do so habitually that I don’t even have to think about it is treat Siri as if it were someone whose second or third language is English and who sometimes struggles with listening comprehension.

Read  How to tame & breed Llamas in Minecraft

If Siri is having trouble understanding you, try speaking a little slower than usual, making sure to say each word rather than letting the words run together too much.

You shouldn’t have to overdo it – treat Siri like a hard-of-hearing foreigner who speaks about as much English as I do Spanish – just try to be as understandable as possible.

Choose easy-to-understand names for HomeKit

It pays to exercise some caution when naming HomeKit devices and scenes. If you find that Siri doesn’t understand you or activates the wrong devices, choosing clearer names usually solves the problem.

For example, if I had “Hall lights,” Siri would sometimes hear that as “all lights.” Changing the name to “Entrance Lights” solved the problem.

First dictate, then correct

Before iOS 16, you could dictate or type—not mix the two. My approach then was to dictate first and then switch to the keyboard to correct mistakes. With iOS 16, you can now mix the two.

Some might see it as a mistake when you have to manually correct text, but it’s much faster to dictate a paragraph and then correct a word or two than typing the whole thing on an on-screen keyboard.

For now, don’t bother with the automatic punctuation!

iOS 16 brings automatic punctuation for the first time, but in my experience this is pretty hopeless in its first incarnation. I find it much more reliable to punctuate manually for now (“Hey Fred, comma, new paragraph, thanks for letting me know, I’ll pass on the message period”).

Share your own tips for dictating on iPhone

If you haven’t had a great experience dictating on iPhone in the past, let me know if any of these things helped – and please share your own tips in the comments.

Read  How To Play Slayer And Best Loadouts In Splatoon 3

Photo: Miguel Tomas/Unsplash

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Visit 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button