Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to Add Voice Text as an Input Method

Voice Text can now be used from any Android app. (You can probably figure most of this out by clicking around, but be sure to read this first section.)

How to allow Voice Text as an input method (like the soft keyboard):

  1. Make sure you have at least version 2.0. Go to Voice Text -> Settings -> About

  2. Go to your phone settings. Hit Home -> Menu -> Settings

  3. Touch "Locale & text" ("Language and Keyboard" on the Droid) in the main phone settings

  4. Check "Voice Text." A warning will come up about possibly enabling a key logger this way (Voice Text is not a key logger). You won't need to uncheck this every time you want to switch input methods. See the next section.

How to change the current input method:

  1. Go into any Android app that has text input (Browser, Gmail, Messaging, ChompSMS, Astrid, Ak Notepad etc).

  2. Long press (that is, touch and hold) on a text box. A popup should come up that says, "Input Method." Click on it.

  3. Choose Voice Text from the menu. Set it back to "Android Keyboard" anytime to use the soft keyboard again.

Taking a dictation from another app (These steps have changed in the newest version. If you do not have version 2.2 or greater, please go to the market and upgrade.):

  1. Go into the app where you want the text to appear (Gmail, Messaging, etc.)

  2. Touch any text box.

  3. Push "Start" in the menu that pops up at the bottom (if it doesn't, check that you've followed the instructions above correctly).

  4. Speak when the prompt says, "Speak now."

  5. Push the text box again. The Start button will now have your dictation on it. Push the dictation if it's correct, or the revert button to the left to clear it.

  6. That's it! You can continue to use the other app as you normally would, stopping to dictate as you like.

If you have any questions, please email me using the link in the application: Settings -> "E-mail the Developer."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

instructions and Tips

Important: Use the best available internet connection — 3G or WiFi — while dictating to avoid the "Connection problem" error.

Examples of good and bad dictation

"Did you leave the keys by the door?" This is a tricky sentence because it is easy to run the words together and there are lots of short words.

Bad technique. Too fast, no space between words. Remember that the inflection you use when talking to someone doesn't matter in voice recognition. You're trying to get a computer to understand. Think of it as typing with speech.

Bad technique audio

Bad technique audio (alternate link)

This recording came back with the result "Digimon wiki private or."

Good technique. Medium pace, clear, well-spaced words.

Good technique audio

Good technique audio (alternate link)

This came back 100% correct.

Voice dictation is a skill that takes practice! Try these tips for better accuracy:

1. Speak at your phone’s screen about three inches away, or with the phone to your ear as if you’re making a call. Don’t speak directly at the microphone at the base of the phone.

2. Speak slowly, and clearly at a medium volume. The waveform that comes up after you speak should have medium-sized bumps in it that are clearly separated from each other. It should not be flat or have big spikes in it. Spikes mean loud noise or noise very close to the microphone like squeaks in your phone’s hinge (this is common on the G1). Watch the volume meter at the bottom of the screen. You should aim for about two and a half bars continually.

Too loud/Noise

Too soft

Just right

3. The microphone is right behind the small hole on the bottom edge of your phone. Try not to cover or brush it while dictating.

4. Put small gaps between words. You should see a small flat spot between bumps in the waveform. This helps keep two words from sounding like one.

5. The limit for one batch is about 15 words. You can push "Add more" as many times as you like to collect dictation, but each time the "Speak now" dialog comes up, you should limit what you say to a small number of words.

Tips on productivity

1. Use distinctive words. "Lugubrious," "Alphabetical," "Hippopotamus," and "Arnold Schwarzenegger" come up correctly every time. You may be surprised at the things Google voice recognition knows.

2. Accuracy is not always important. For short notes, to do list items, and text messages to friends, small mistakes usually don’t matter. A to do list item that says, "Wright to grandma" is just as good as one that says, "Write to grandma" and it’s worth a chuckle.

3. You can add a custom disclaimer like "(Voice Texted)" to SMS messages (this won't cause an overflow into two messages or cost money). Go to menu --> Settings --> SMS Disclaimer.

4. Long press the call button to bring up the Voice Dialer and say, "Open Voice Text" for a nearly hands-free experience.

5. Get the last person who called you by sorting your contacts by rank. Hit menu, then "Sort by Rank" on the contacts screen.

If you have questions, feedback, or feature requests, please use the email link in Menu --> Settings --> E-mail the Developer.