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Dictation button grayed out on iPhone or iPad? Here's the fix!

If the microphone button isn't working when you need it most, here's what you can do about it!

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How to use Siri-like commands on your Mac with Dictation keyword phrases

If you've always dreamed of shouting spoken commands to your computers like the folks on your favorite science-fiction series, you can get just a wee bit closer with the dictation accessibility features in OS X El Capitan. Here's how.

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How to type a command to Siri instead of speaking

Siri can answer hundreds of questions, respond to dozens of commands, and scour the web for information on a myriad of topics. Unfortunately Siri may not always understand you correctly or you may simply want to adjust your command or query. Luckily, you can easily edit the text Siri's responding to and have it give you an updated response.

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Angry your dictation button has gone gray and useless? Here's a fix that's only slightly less annoying!

Dictation is a fantastic, Siri-like service on iPhone and iPad that, at the tap of a mic button, transforms what you say out loud into text on the screen. But sometimes that mic button ghosts over, grays out, and otherwise becomes un-tabble. That kills the natural-language interface, makes apps less accessible, and can otherwise stop your productivity dead.

Luckily, there's a fix, even if it's only slightly less annoying then the problem!

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How to turn on and use Dictation on your new iPad

While the new iPad doesn't include full on Siri support, probably for a number of reasons, it does include the speech-to-text Dictation. However, Dictation may not be enabled by default, and if it's not, it's not at all obvious where to go looking for it.

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Nuance talks about the future of voice control assistants

While Nuance can't comment about any relationship with Apple, it's widely believed their technology powers the voice recognition and dictation behind Siri, the iPhone 4S artificial assistant. It also powers several of their own apps in the iPhone and iPad App Store, including the industry leading Dragon Dictation and the new Dragon Go.

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iOS 5.1 beta 3 reveals Siri dictation coming to iPad?

9to5 Mac has uncovered what could be Apple's plan to bring Siri dictation to the iPad once iOS 5.1 is released.

Our own tipster Sonny Dickson was looking through the iOS 5.1 beta 3 settings application on the iPad and discovered a new section in the keyboard menu called “About Privacy and Dictation.” When opened, as shown above, the iPad provides the user with the standard legal literature and feature information for Siri Dictation.

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Siri dictation now available on other iOS 5 devices with Siri0us [jailbreak]

System wide voice-to-text dictation, once exclusive to iPhone 4S, has now been replicated on other iOS devices thanks to a Jailbreak hack called Siri0us. In order to use the dictation hack, you will need to have a jailbroken iOS 5 device. A point to note, the hack does not use Apple's servers, it solely uses the Nuance speech recognition system on device, and it does not provide any of the Siri voice control features.

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iPhone 5 going dual-core, 1GB of RAM, with advanced Assistant feature?

Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac has posted a great write-up on what his usually very good sources have told him we can expect in the upcoming iPhone 4S/iPhone 5 hardware and software. In short:

  • Apple A5 dual-core SoC (like iPad 2)
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8MP rear camera, backlit sensor
  • Qualcomm Gobi Baseband
  • Siri-based Assistant that replaces the old, limited Voice Control, and tied into Wolfram Alpha and Find my Friend
  • Nuance-based Dictation for voice-to-text

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Vlingo 2.0 for iPhone Brings Voice to Email, SMS

Vlingo 2.0 for iPhone [Free with in-app purchase - iTunes link] brings an all new, all prettier graphical user interface to the table, as well as Email and SMS Paste dictation -- as an in-app purchase.

The new UI looks great and more importantly, works great. The icons are big and easy to hit and helpful tips are littered everywhere. You can tap to start recording and tap again to stop, or just hold down, talk, and release. For the various situations where you need to use voice instead of typing -- like while driving (if it's legal in your region!) -- that kind of ease of use is priceless.

With the free app you get Maps, Search, Social (Facebook and Twitter), and Voice Dial. As mentioned, the Email and SMS Paste dictation are via in-app purchase. Note, it's called SMS Paste because, unlike with Email, Apple won't allow apps to send SMS so it just copies your text and launches the Messages apps. You have to paste the text and then hit send on your own. The Email and SMS Paste options are $6.99 separately or $9.99 if purchased together. Whether they're worth or not depends entirely on how important voice email and SMS dictation are to you right now.

TiPb got our hands on the final version a couple of days early so we had a chance to try it out for a while already. All in all, Vlingo 2 works about as well as you'd expect a voice dictation app to work -- usually quite well, with hilarious tragedy on occasion. It does learn, however, so if you enunciate well and keep at it, your results should improve.

I liked it enough to buy the App Store version on release along with the Email and SMS Paste bundle. It's bleeding edge technology that should get better and more elegant in the future. And I'm a sucker for the the Star Trek-style apps.

Screen shots and video after the break! If you try it out, let us know what you think!

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