My recent jump to Windows Phone for my daily driver, in concert with my continued love affair with the Nexus 7 and endless respect for Apple’s iPad, have provided an interesting opportunity to compare the three platforms in a number of ways. The OSes have many distinctions setting them apart, but maybe none so evident as their respective approaches to voice dictation.
I’m not talking about Siri or S Voice or Google Now here; just the stock speech-to-text dictation software you’d use if you were drafting an email or text message by voice, or speaking a shopping list out loud for your device to jot down. The latest version of Android Jelly Bean is capable of doing the speech-to-text conversion on-device, whereas iOS and Windows Phone require a network connection for the feature to function at all. iOS and Android require spoken inputs to insert punctuation, whereas Windows Phone tries to divine your meaning and attach the correct punctuation automatically. The bigger platforms also require you to end the voice input session manually in most cases, whereas Microsoft’s technology cuts out soon after you stop talking– sometimes too soon.
There’s more to discover, including grammatical quirks, odd behavior in noisy environments, and whether the various devices can properly handle the spelling of “Jaime Rivera.” Click the video below to see our informal, but decidedly in-depth, analysis of voice dictation on an early-2012 iPad running iOS 6.0.1, a Nexus 7 running Jelly Bean 4.2, and a Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8.