AirPods and dictation on Word.

Been trying out my AirPods Pro as a dictation rig. You might recall I lost access to Dragon Dictate a while back when they stopped doing Apple updates. I still don't have a decent multi-app solution for speech recognition, but I have been using the built-in Dictation feature that ships with the latest version of MS Word (which I get thru a 360 subscription).

It's not nearly as snappy, responsive or accurate as Dragon - or at least as the second last version of Dragon, which was the peak for MacOS. But it's more than good enough to fill in. Its main failing is in recognising the sort of weird made up words I tend to use in novel writing, especially sci fi stuff like The Shattered Skies. And it doesn't like 'Kolhammer' much, either. But then neither did Dragon. Kept wanting to call him Admirable Coal Hammer.

One clear advantage Word does have – ugh, I can't believe I just wrote that — is in Bluetooth connectivity.

Dragon was always hopeless with wireless headsets. It really wanted that hard connection between Mic and processor. But Word's on board dictation feature seems to handle the AirPods without a problem. They're just accurate as my wired headsets. This opens up the possibility of stalking around the office and dictating copy, as I like to do.

I often find myself getting sleepy at about two in the afternoon, and it’d help if I was able to dictate into my iPad for an hour or so. I could put the fondle slab on the standing desk, plug myself into the air pods, and walk around the room talking to myself like a crazy man.

 As a matter of fact, I just did and still am. The speech recognition seems fine, even from way across the room. The only real issue so far is that Microsoft’s built-in dictation isn’t nearly as good with formatting commands as Dragon. But it’s pretty good, and to be honest I tend not to format via spoken command anyway. Even on Dragon, it wasn’t that great.

I do like the idea of being freed from the wired headset, however, and this brief experiment with the AirPods and Ipad seems to have worked pretty well. So I might give it a go at greater length tomorrow.* I find the lure of a nap in my office recliner chair to be some powerful magic after I’ve had lunch, so it could be quite the productivity boost if I could stay on my feet and awake for the Sleepy Hour.


* Update.

I tried the new set up, dictating a chapter of WW 3.1 this morning. Got just under 2000 words done in about two and a half hours. With a migraine! Imma call that a win.