A dictation addiction?

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Say you’re checking the fridge, shelves and cupboards while adding things to your shopping list app. With young children around, you never know when they’ll call you next and so you want to make this process as fast as possible. With that in mind, did you know that there’s an input method even faster than typing and even swyping?

Dictation gets your shopping list done before you can say ‘parallel current carrying wires snap together’.

I’m talking about dictation. With normal speech being about 120 words per minute, this outperforms normal typing or swyping as an input method, hands down. In this way, adding things to the shopping list is as easy as seeing what you need, pressing the little microphone and saying what it is you need. That’s it. It’s now added to your list. On to the next item.

Do note that voice recognition is still commonly an online service, which means that the things you say are sent across the internet for instant transcription by a distant computing farm. If your shopping list is actually a list of coded, top-secret information, then this may be a concern. However, if you’re just going to buy vegetables, milk, etc, you may be less worried about doing so.

A more acute risk, of course, is that the children will figure out what you’re doing and will try to shout things in the background. For example, when you say ‘fish’ they’ll shout ‘poopy pants’ and you might end up with a ‘poopy pants fish’ on your list. (It’s an acquired type of humour.) Then again, why not involve your kids directly in making the shopping list. Just agree on an item and ask them to tell your phone, making it appear on the digital shopping list.

In this way, voice recognition with a digital shopping list app can be a winning combination.