I've had it with dictation! Absolutely had it!

iOS & iPadOS

OK, I know a lot of you have said, "This is why I don't use dictation," but never, even me as much as I often claim Voiceover and iOS bugs have *never!* seen something this bad! I'm using a bluetooth qerty style keyboard to write this right now as I'm not about to attempt dictating.

I was trying to type a bio of myself on a website, and even dictating just a little at a time, here's an exact paste of what was rendered. I'll let you all imagine what it should have said.
Hello, me none list crisp.

Like in 38 tears olive, in trip and South Carolina. New giraffe. My give with lies butter and grandmother, and jug ton cat named Singles.

Dive live bent climb cents birth.
Here's what it should have said.
Hello, my name is Chris. I am 38 years old, and live in South Carolina.

I live with my mother and grandmother, and have 1 cat named Twinkles. I have been blind since birth.

This was in iOS 13.6. Not even the beta!

Yes, my language/region is set correctly to english. NO, I don't have a speech impediment that would cause this. No, I don't have any accent. Not even a southern one. I reset Siri, and dictation both, restarted the phone, etc. Nothing's helping. Restarting made it slightly better, but not by much.

Has anyone seen it get this bad? Again, I've complained before about bugs, but this is over the top!



Submitted by jack on Friday, August 14, 2020

Their dictation software is just falling behind. Not enough machine learning, and the more microphones solution they opt for in the newer phones just doesn't help matters much. Dragon Anywhere is an option, though I sadly doubt it can replace IOS's dictation engine due to system limitations.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Friday, August 14, 2020

Before this thread gets too involved, let me clear up some things that I know are gonna be accused of me, if I don't do so.

First, Do know, I'm not meaning to post this to be a troll. I'm not kidding when I say those were the results.

Second, I'm probably just as shocked, if not more shocked about this than other people reading.

Third, I'm not blaiming Apple for this, as much as I'm just surprised.

Finally, Yeah, I've had some bad experiences with dictation, but normally never anything quite to this level. the main reason for my post wasn't to start a tantrom sauga. It was more to see if anyone else has ever experienced this bad of results, as it almost doesn't even sound logical. I could see it misinterpreting a few things here and there, quite epicly even at times, but never to this degree.


Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Friday, August 14, 2020

Nothing beats dictation, then Google zone G board on any device. Even if you have to do some configuration things to make the app work a little bit better, on iOS specifically, it’s worth it!

Submitted by Alan on Friday, August 14, 2020

In reply to by Chris Gilland

Hey there. A friend of mine experiences the same problem you mentioned. And here comes the x file... He and I have an iphone 10S, but in my phone dictation works almost flawless. After some complains, he tried to dictate to my phone, he possibly thought I was not telling the truth, and it worked prety well. It happened 6 months ago and the mistery hasn't been solved, moreover, dictation still sucks for him, using his phone, of course. Oh, and yes, he speaks clearly. In this case, we dictate in spanish..

GBoard is available on iOS? Come? uh, gan? You're kidding me! Now this! I'm gonna have to look at!

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Friday, August 14, 2020

In reply to by Chris Gilland

I'll be dangged! GBoard really *is!* available on iOS. And yeah, a little configuring, but not bad at all! My only question is, the dictate button in the bottom right of the keyboard, or when 2 finger double tapping seems to still be activating the Siri voice dictation engine, as I hear the siri chime, not the Google chime like you'd hear on Android, or within the Google assistant on either platform. So, how do I know it's using the GBoard's Google dictation engine and not the Siri dictation? Is it one of these things, though hearing the Siri chime, not the google chime, just trust it, it is using Google instead? And oh yes. I did switch the keyboard over from the default Apple keyboard. Yes. I did do that first before dictating with the next keyboard key below the shift key. I'm perfectly aware of doing that. Don't worry.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Friday, August 14, 2020

OK, fine! I was trying to not go the linguistic technical route of things, but keep things basic. I guess if you wanna be totally technically correct, then yes, you're right. We all have accents. LOL! And no, by the ok fine, and the shruggs part of my message, don't read the wrong tone. I'm actually over here laughing with a tarzanne cry as I read your comment. LOL! You're good, don't worry. Hahahah.

Submitted by Paul on Friday, August 14, 2020

People often underestimate the strength of their accents. Me personally, I’ve sometimes had some really strange dictation results, but other times I’ve had perfect dictation results. I find my worst results often come about if I try to talk conversationally. If I take a clear pause between each word, the results usually come out quite well, unless I’m trying to use words I don’t know how to pronounce properly.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Friday, August 14, 2020

So, you're, saying, I, should, con, stant, lee, talk, like, this, and, pause, bee, tween, each, word, I, am, saying? That, would, get, soo, per, uh, noying!

Seriously, everyone tells me to do like that, No way in heck am I doing that and looking like a total lunatic! LOL!

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, August 14, 2020

I do have an accent because I am Latino. It works OK for me. I do need to slow down when I am using it. Using iOS 13.6.1 and 11 pro max. I wander how 14 will work with it. Probably not.

Submitted by Dawn on Saturday, August 15, 2020

Hello! Pretty good experiences with dictation. That’s what I’m using to type this right now. That being said, I have had some very strange times. Even had something said that was totally not my meaning. I was asking someone when they wanted to video chat? And instead it put that night was special. And let’s just say that would not have been a good idea to send that.
I do however have one very huge complaint. And it’s started a few iOS versions ago. And it’s not very consistent. Sometimes when I would stop dictating it will say inserted and then whatever I dictated. Or at least whatever it thought I dictated. And then sometimes it would say inserted and then cut itself off. I’ve complained to Accessibility about this once. But I think due to the consistency Aretta the inconsistency of this bug, I think it’s one of those ones that it’s really hard to fix and pen now.
Also, I have very bad sinus and allergy issues. And sometimes when I’m stuffy and clammy, or when my throat is sore, or when it’s horsey or scratchy, then dictation sometimes has problems. And there are just some things, that I don’t dictate. Somethings I typed out. Like acronyms, or if I want to go to a new line, etc. etc.
Sometimes, if it’s too long to dictate, and dictation has royally screwed it up, I mainly do this in messenger. I’ll send an audio message of what I’m saying. Because that at least can’t get messed up in text.
And for me, I’m kind of lucky. Because for the most part, a lot of the people that I talk to with this, get the gist of what I’m trying to say. And my dad uses that a lot on his phone too. And he doesn’t use voiceover. I think he’s had a couple things happen. But, I think we’ve all had plenty of strange times with this. I have also had bugs in dictation where it would say Double tap to start dictation to finger double tap when finished. Or it would say text field is editing. And this was all while it was in dictation mode. So voiceover shut up shut up. And sometimes those directions or parts of them, got mixed in with things that I was dictating. Oh that was a rather annoying bug. And that was also not very consistent either. But it did finally get fixed. And I think that was an iOS 12 or 11.
I just think there’s a lot of factors that can go in to play one you’re using dictation and it either doesn’t get all of what you said, or it completely butchered it. And I think we all have different use cases. And different accents. And different and Bierman‘s we sometimes use it in brother it’s quiet or noisy, etc. etc. So I think all those things coming to play. I’m not saying that what you’re saying is invalid. But But I think that you do have a point. Because sometimes I’ll use dictation, and it worked flawlessly. And sometimes when I use it it’ll completely butchered what I’m saying. I also found that when you’re talking in a loud voice, like when you’re angry, or if you’re in tears, and you show any type of emotion like that, it makes it hard for you. I’ve had plenty of times when that’s happened
Also another thing you might want to check, believe it or not, is your Internet connection. Sometimes I found, that when my Internet goes down, or when I lose connection, either dictation doesn’t work well together, or it really starts butchering things. I don’t know though. It could just be coincidence. But considering that I live out in the country, and I’ve seen stuff happen like that, at least on my end, I think it’s worth checking

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Saturday, August 15, 2020

I am going to be trying out SwiftKey from Microsoft, to see if dictation on the iOS side works better with actual precision and such.

Google has decided to put the dictation key next to the Q (not label), and the holding down space bar trick which originally worked, does not.

Submitted by Brad on Saturday, August 15, 2020

It doesn't When you use it with voiceover and delete a letter, voiceover doesn't tell you what letter you've deleted.

And yes, I did go there about the accent :P

Submitted by Dave Bahr on Saturday, August 15, 2020

Well, Chris, I thank you for the laugh, I have not laughed that hard since the last time I laughed that hard. I nearly cried at the, new giraffe comment. OMG that was great. I suppose this gives a whole new meaning to one of my favorite country albums, Longnecks and Short Stories by the amazingly underrated Mark Chesnutt. But I digress.

I will say that i use a bluetooth keyboard 99.9 percent of the time with my phone. Dictation usually goes to shit especially if I want to dictate a long essay, of which I am a big fan; the day I write something briefly is the day I stop writing, and breathing for that matter.

I will say that I have not tried this g board thing, I will take a look. I will also say that the app, Drafts, has a dictation feature that uses the siri engine but does not cut you off like when you are dictating a text message. It is of course not perfect.

I am a Dragon user on my PC, I dictated my book with it, which has sold well, so something must have worked! But I also did try Dragon Anywhere, and found that the issue is that you cant really read your dictation with voiceover as it uses the earpiece, not the speaker, when the microphone is activated. This is using my Iphone 7, I'm not sure about newer phones. I tried using a bluetooth headset as the dictation device, no dice there. It routed the audio again to the ear piece. And I'll be damned if I am gonna hold my phone to my ear to try and read back my dictation, I might as well shout into an ear trumpet to Congress, I'd get the same result, crap.

The last thing I will say, at least I think it might be the last thing, is that yes, pausing during dictation does not feel natural, but once you get used to the brief time it takes you to pause, it is kind of like verbal muscle memory. I also have a braille display hooked up to my machine, so seeing the dictation under the fingers is kind of a natural pause anyway. I have tried using a braille display with Dragon Anywhere, it was not a success.

So to finish with a lyric from the aforementioned Mr. Chesnutt, "I don't know, but I'll think of something."

Submitted by Alan on Saturday, August 15, 2020

In my friend's phone, sometimes you can hear voiceover reading what is going to be inserted after you dictate. The problem is, what you hear is not what really you can read on the text field. So I think some dictation issues happen not because of the dictation, but because some strange and unpredictable text processing. And I am not talking about changing a leter, I am talking about complete reinterpretation of what you dictate.
Has anybody experienced that?

Submitted by dezzi on Saturday, August 15, 2020

Hey Chris I just wanted to let you know that I have had similar experiences. I had to end up getting a keyboard just so that I could say what I wanted to say. Not to make light of your voice over situation, but I have to admit it is kind of entertaining. I’m so sorry that you had those kind of dictation problems

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Saturday, August 15, 2020

Hi! I am sorry you're having such trouble with dictation. I'd say that it works very well for me about 75 percent of the time. Naturally, if it's something even semi-important, I proofread it first, but on the whole, it does surprisingly well. My only thoughts are to wonder if maybe you've got a lot of background noise when you're dictating. If I try to send a quick message on paratransit, for example, the dictation is far more likely to have errors due to being on the bus. My only other question is if you're trying to use a headset/mic combo. In my admittedly limited experience with such things, dictation does not work well when I am using blue tooth ear buds. Then again, the one time I tried it, I was at Planet Fitness, so perhaps that needed to be factored in. Other than those two little ideas, I can't imagine why you would be having so much trouble getting accurate dictation.

Although dictation itself does work well for me most of the time, the issue I have is when I'm trying to dictate a facebook post. I will dictate some of it, and then, once I know that part is OK, I will dictate some more. Unfortunately, when I resume dictating, the cursor has somehow moved to the top of the post, so my second half of the post appears before the original portion of text. It's happened once or twice in the messages app, but it's almost guaranteed to happen in FB. I have no clue how the cursor could be moving itself; don't know if the glitch is vo related or if it's something wrong with iOS or facebook. If I'm here at home, I try to fix things with my BT keyboard, but sometimes, it just feels like way too much effort. I hope that your dictation issues get resolved somehow.

Submitted by Nina on Monday, August 17, 2020


I have to say the results you've gotten with dictation are very funny. I have had similar experiences to yours; dictation is completely unusable for me so I don't even attempt it anymore. I use braille screen input and the regular keyboards.
And yes I do have an accent because I am Latina but that doesn't matter because I've always had an accent and I had no problems with dictation until the latest version of IOS.
Sorry I do not have any solutions to your problem.


Submitted by roman on Monday, August 17, 2020

Hello. same with me. even though I am from India, I do not have any accent. but some times, the dictation wrights gibeerish!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, August 17, 2020

I have hardly any issues with dictation. Except if the name is hard to pronounce, but over all it works almost 100 percent correct. I use it to dictate reports for my boss after I'm done teaching.

I'm surprised that you responded to this, given that I'm nothing but a troll, your words, Sarah, not mine. Why feed a troll if that's what you think of me. Anyway, I digress entirely back to the subject at hand. There's no background noise behind me. I've actually been known to dictate in a fully foamed soundproofed microphone isolation chamber booth with an airtight carpeted door, yet, even still, issues, and you think your bedroom sounds dead, trust me, this makes you feel like your floating literally, just cause the dead acoustics are so notiveablenoticeable. When I say dead no reflections, I mean none! zip! It's really really really weird if you're not used to being in a confined space of that nature.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

In reply to by roman

I apologize. Maybe I'm just shriveling up gray, but, right about what exactly?

Submitted by Matthew Whitaker on Monday, August 31, 2020

I am currently having the same issue... I have done everything you have done to try and fix this nasty issue, but it ain't working.

Submitted by Nuno on Monday, August 31, 2020

I dont know about dictation as I uset he braille imput but for me, the "hey siri" phrase works about 40% of the time. Sometimes I have to speak to it 3 or 4 times before I get the result.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Monday, August 31, 2020

For short phrases when I'm on the go or my hands are full dictation works fine, but I'd never exclusively use it. I use Braille screen input or a Bluetooth keyboard basically all the time which eliminates the misunderstandings.

Submitted by Hasan Tayem on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Hello Chris.
I hope that you are doing well.
This is really strange, according to my experience, I am using dictation since many years and I have learned a lot of tips and tricks to use it right,
Right-now I am dictating to you everything and I swear that I didn’t change anything in the texts that has been written in here.
Every couple of months I go to the mobile store and I do clean the mics of my iPhone, because it’s really getting ugly after a couple of months of using your phone every day, so I advise you to go and to clean the mics and speakers of your phone and just give it a little try.
I hope that’s useful for you.