658: Every Letter is Precious


While using dictation on the iPhone (such as using drafts when going for a walk), when I get home i find the word substitutions iOS chose makes what it recorded unintelligible. Perhaps external noise is polluting my text, but I’m wearing the AirPods.

Any thoughts on how to get around those weird substitutions?

Curious how you each found the C1’s CPU usage to be, beyond the temporary heat issue. Would you be comfortable using it on battery for an extended period?

Enjoyed the detailed discussion of in-built voice dictation!

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A great thing about dictation is that you can just get started using it right away, and it works. Over time, you’ll get more skillful, and pick up tips and tricks, but the payback is immediate, and because of the constant positive reinforcement, learning to use dictation doesn’t feel like work.

And, yes, I am dictating this response now.

@oldblueday I have had similar problems. I have not verified this, but I think that dictation uses the phone’s built-in microphone, even when you are wearing AirPods. Dictation seems to work better if I hold the microphone of the phone a half inch from my mouth.

Oddly, this does not seem to be a problem when using Siri to dictate a reminder, or whatever.

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I’ve just downloaded Ventura and … it looks like the dictation is vastly better than before, but it doesn’t allow me to mix dictation with keyboard editing like is now possible on iOS 16.

Which is very disappointing.


I have no had great luck trying to use dictation with my AirPods Pro. It is quite frustrating but using the iPhone mic it works great. You’re not alone!

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I really enjoyed the segment on dictation since I’m forever hoping to be getting better at this, and save my hands that are prone to a bit of RSI. I’m still a bit confused.

Am I right to assume that Siri Voice to Text gets processed on Apple’s servers, and is available on iOS and MacOS. And Voice Control runs locally on the machine and only on MacOS? I thought I had Voice Control running on my Mac, but it turns out that I had only switched on the Dictation options in the Keyboard settings (does this then equate to Siri’s Voice to Text; or does this option make use of the Voice Control engine).

I suppose I’m not clear whether Voice Control provides inherently better results, or just gives more options (e.g. the addition of a custom vocabulary).

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting iOS 16 soon, and in the mean time, also playing around with Dictation on my brand new MBP (M1 Pro).

I use dictation on a regular basis by just talking to my iPad. It does make mistakes, but not so many that I can’t understand what I was trying to say.

For those who use the dictation feature, what are your use cases for it? I can’t think of a time that I would need it, but perhaps I’m missing something.

Anytime I’m walking and want to take notes (eg, listening to an audiobook).

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Dictation is faster and more accurate than typing on any device except a laptop (or iPad w/ keyboard.) Even on a laptop dictation can be nicer than typing when your fingers are tired! I dictated this.


@majorgear, getting quotes into my Daily Note that I’m too lazy to type.

You could try recording into the Voice Memos app, and then uploading the recording to Drafts to be transcribed (Drafts uses the same Siri engine for transcription). That way, you can check against your own recording if you’re unsure what was meant to be transcribed.

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