Dictation by Blueshift has been released on the Apple App Store. The developer was kind enough to give me a prerelease version to test. Voice dictation has always been one of the most valuable features of the iPhone. Dictation is much more than a recording app. As you record, it transcribes in real time.
With the four microphones of the iPhone XS Max that I used to test, the audio quality of the recordings were pristine. Not every audio app uses all the microphones, but Dictation certainly took advantage of the audio powers of the iPhone.
Dictation offered the best live audio transcription I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. Google recently released the app Record for their Pixel line, which also does live transcribing, but I found Dictation on the iPhone to be far more accurate.
As you record you can see Dictation typing out the words as you speak. You can easily go back and click on the waveform or text and jump to any place you want to make corrections.
You cannot transcribe in the background. If you need to do other things on your iPhone, it would be better to record in another app, then import it. One of the strengths of Dictation is that it can import audio files to transcribe.
One of the great features is that all transcription is done on the device. Dictation leverages the power of Apple’s A series chips. You do not need an Internet connection. I noted that with the short time I used Dictation, it seemed to be learning words I used that were “non-standard.” With the machine learning built into Apple’s current CPUs, this is certainly possible.
You can check out Dictation here. There is a one week free trial. After that $20 annually unlocks unlimited transcription. If you only need to transcribe a few things per year, it’s well worth it.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★