There are hundreds of apps that let you search, write emails, take notes and set appointments with your smartphone. But, for some people, the small size of a phone's keyboard or touch screen can be limiting and difficult to use.
If you have trouble seeing the small type, have a lack of finger dexterity or just think better out loud, you might benefit from a tool that allows you to convert spoken words to written words. Here's a look at three different speech-to-text apps that can help you get things done with a lot less hassle:
1. Dragon Dictation. This app has only one button. Simply tap it and start talking. Dragon Dictation handles the rest. The text appears after you finish dictating, so it might take a little getting used to. But once you get the rhythm, you can process lengthy emails and other documents with a high degree of accuracy in one of 30 different languages or dialects.
Once the app has transcribed your speech, you can send it out via email or copy and paste to another application. You can also post directly to Facebook and Twitter, or save your text to use later on. Best of all, the app is free for the iPhone and iPad but it does require a network connection to work.
2. Evernote for Android. Evernote was designed to help you keep track of ideas and inspirations. You always could use the app to record audio notes such as lectures or meetings, but now it also allows you to turn those audiofiles into text.
Unlike Dragon Dictation, Evernote saves both the audio and the text file together so you can use the app's search ability to find a recorded note. The app can be a handy tool for recording all your thoughts at the end of each day. Say what's on your mind, then sort through the data later.
The app is free, but because Evernote uses Google Android's text transcription service, you do need to be online to use it.
3. Voice Assistant. This newly redesigned app has a fast access feature that makes it even easier to post to Twitter, Facebook or email. Switch on your preferred option and Voice Assistant converts your transcriptions to the proper format without additional clicks.
Use the auto copy feature to send your transcriptions to other apps such as Google Search, YouTube, Evernoteor Pages. You can also send your transcription straight to a wireless printer.
Voice Assistant uses intelligent speech recognition so it learns with every use. It also has grammar correction and on-screen editing with suggestions for corrections.
The app costs 99 cents and is available for the iPhone and iPad.