Apple integrated Siri into itsa decade ago and mainstreamed the voice-activated assistant. But the assistant is just one of the voice-powered tools in your smartphone’s ever-growing audio toolbox. Your recorder, a dictation machine, a podcast production studio, and more. Here’s how to get things done with more talking and less typing.
1. Get More From Your Assistant
You’ve probably already introduced yourself to Apple’s Siri, the(and iOS), or Samsung’s Bixby during your phone’s setup process. You may have even tried it by asking for the weather report or setting a timer. But the biggest challenge with using a voice assistant is knowing the various tasks the software can handle and the devices it runs on, including tablets, speakers, smart-home hubs, automobile systems, and streaming TV boxes.
2. Make a Voice Memo
Notes apps are great for jotting down quick ideas, but recording an audio clip can be even faster; your assistant can even open the app for you. You can also record interviews with relatives for family-history archives or projects.
The phone’s recording computer and back up online. Third-party apps abound, but your phone probably has its free recording program.push the Record button to start and the Pause or Stop to halt the session. You end up with an audio file you can play, transfer to a
Apple’s iPhone includes a Voice Memos app, and Google’s Recorder app for Android is free to download from theStore. Samsung has its Voice Recorder on many of its Galaxy phones, making it available in the Galaxy and .
3. Type by Talking
Need a personal secretary to take dictation — or find typing difficult? Your phone can convert your spoken words into text. Look for a microphone icon on the keyboard or, tap it, and start talking to see your comments appear on the screen.
You’ll need to call out the punctuation by name when dictating long passages of text like an email message or sections of your novel-in-progress into a word-processing app. For example, say “period” when the sentence ends or “new paragraph” to start a new paragraph.
The speech-to-text feature may be on (or off) by default, so check your settings. Apple’s site is a guide for using the dictation feature on its devices, as doessystem (and the Gboard app for iOS). Bixby has a Dictate feature, with instructions on the Samsung site.
4. Send an Audio Message
An audio clipof your world. Sending audio can also be helpful if you can’t type, although your assistant can also take and send a .
Hold the sound-wave icon in the message box to send an audio clip to Apple’s Messages appyour pin. You can preview it before you send it. (To , the audio clips are automatically deleted two minutes after you listen unless you select the Keep option.)
Google’s Messagesimilarly sends audio messages: Press the microphone icon in your conversation to record a clip to send. If you send a , you may have to register the pin in another app and send the file as an attachment.
5. Record a Podcast or Song
Podcasts have replaced blogs as a medium of self-expression for many people. If you’re thinking of starting your show, you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment. Free or inexpensive apps like Spotify’s Anchor, Podbean’s Audio Recorder, and Spreaker Studio for Android and iOS provide recording and editing tools right on your phone and publishing and distribution platforms for your podcast.