How to create hands-free text messages and notes on your device

Give your thumbs a rest with these tricky tech tips.

Hands of senior women using smartphone

Did you know your device can listen to your voice and create text messages, notes and search the web without the use of your hands? Give your thumbs a rest with these tricky tech tips.

How to create a hands-free text message on your Apple device
First, open ‘Messages’ and click in the ‘Text Message’ field. Now, at the bottom of your keyboard, to the left of your space bar, you’ll see a little microphone symbol.

Click the microphone symbol and speak slowly and clearly. Your message will be dictated and transcribed automatically.

When you’re finished, click ‘Done’. If your message hasn’t been accurately transcribed, you can edit it with your digits. Once, you’re happy with it, press ‘Send’.

How to create a hands-free note on your Apple device
Open your Apple Notes app. Now click on the white space to start ‘typing’. Again, you’ll see that magic microphone next to your space bar. Click it and record. As with your hands-free message, Notes will record your voice and transcribe it for you. Speak slowly and clearly and you should have an accurately recorded note. Once you’ve finished recording, hit ‘Done’ and edit as you see fit.

Using your voice to search the internet on your Apple device
You can also use the magic microphone to search the internet. Simply open your favourite browser or Google and tap the microphone next to your space bar. Speak your desired query and hit ‘Done’ then ‘Go’ and your search will be performed.

And it’s not just Notes, Messages and search that can make use of the microphone. Pretty much any app that requires the use of the keyboard can utilise this function. You can even ‘speak’ punctuation, such as comma, period, new line and exclamation, and your personal dictation assistant will enter it for you. Why not give it a try and let us know how you go?

Oh, and Android users need not feel left out. Your Android phone also has a handy microphone, usually located to the left of your space bar. It can be used for most apps that require the use of a keyboard, although Android’s list of voice dictation commands is a bit limited compared to what’s available on iPhone and iPad.

Even though the accuracy of the transcription software can sometimes be questionable, it can save you time, and can also make it easier for you to remember things such as important points in conversations, taking directions, or quickly documenting a thought when it pops into your head. It’s also fun to speak freely into the microphone and see what it transcribes – you never know what sort of surrealistic masterpiece of poetry it will provide for you!



    To make a comment, please register or login
    21st Sep 2016
    Looks great Leon, just one problem smartphone is Android not Apple. Oh Well!!
    21st Sep 2016
    Exactly my thought!
    21st Sep 2016
    Have just googled my Samsung S7. You can dictate memos, text messages, make calls thru the S Voice app. (Samsung app). Not sure what android you have.
    21st Sep 2016
    Android has a mic Freddie and the voice recognition is better than fruit. Eg ... Mary had a little lamb it's fleece was white as snow ... Perfect :)
    21st Sep 2016
    Ta very much Dubbles, I have just found it. Only had my Xperis Android phone for 3 years and didn't know the keyboard has a mike, if you are Sherlock Holmes and find out how to turn it on. Downloaded the instructions and found it! Only problem is that I don't have 3 spare days to read the complete instructions!
    RTBI. (Read the bl**dy Instructions)

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