Speech-to-text Apps

Posted by joyces @joyces, Mon, Jul 22 10:56am

None of the hearing clinics nor the vestibular clinic I've been to recently have any information about speech-to-text apps. I've done online research and learned enough…just to be "dangerous"! I want to know more before buying a tablet, downloading an app, and learning to use it. I have the added problem of living in the forest, sans even the least amount of cell reception. None of the techs I've talked to can comprehend such an oddity. <g>

Hello, you may be buying all of these devices for nothing – if you don't have any cellular towers near where you live. You need to have WIFI or some type of signal from the big companies like Verizon and Sprint to get their signals to work your apps on your laptop or phones. If there is little to no signal in your area – then buying these apps and devices is not worth your time and money. Instead, go to the nearest library and use their computers for your information buy getting a library card and getting your information that way…if that is possible for you.

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Thanks for the reply, Nurse Headakes! You're the first person who understands anything about lack of cell reception. Actually, thanks to the fact that the Oregon coast is all very up and down, with little hills a half mile away 600' higher than where you are, although I have no cell reception at my home or in my home office, there is reception in town a half mile away, just past the big hill south of us. We do have WiFi here, but, even though I've connected my new smartphone to the WiFi, I can't make/receive calls…no better than my old flip phone. (I got the phone to use the GPS, which is far better than GPS units themselves.) The reason I'm interested in Live Transcribe and a tablet is for meetings, for a pilot project about water supply, for a potential trail alongside the remote river where I collect data for fish & game. The meetings are in places that do have WiFi, so the app should work. I know that the app needs connectivity in order to provide a dictionary of words. I'm a graphic designer, so I not only have the internet available on both office computers, but actually do some website design work. Not being able to use phones makes things more difficult, but it's participating in meetings that has become virtually impossible without some way to know what's being said. Lots of the info is pretty technical, which makes it more challenging when I can only decode a word here and there.

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Indeed it would be difficult if you have little connectivity. If I were you, I would call all of the different companies that are around there and check to see what you can get for service. Legislation is slow in getting to all of the rural areas for connectivity including using blue tooth, WIFI and LAN lines. Check out this website for networks….https://www.belden.com/blog/smart-building/network-types It may help you speak their language and buy into their connections so that you get what you need.

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Thank you for responding! We have Charter, aka Spectrum, like it or not, for cable internet, phone, and TV. A quarter mile away, people have choices, but here in our little valley just off the ocean, we have old growth spruce, elk, and deer, no neighbors, and no choice about internet/phone providers. Although Verizon is often the provider of choice for rural areas, in our little coastal town AT&T is generally better, has fewer dead spots. There IS service throughout town, except for, ahem, City Hall, due to it's thick concrete walls, floors, ceilings. I volunteer for Backpack, which has its pantry on the ground floor of the City Hall building, and there is zero service inside. However, the Council Chambers on the top floor do have some service. That's the only big dead spot in town. Most of the water project meetings are in the County Seat, a "huge" place of, gasp, 10,000 people. When we moved to his house full time, it took almost four months to get phone service, longer for internet. We didn't even try to turn on the TV until we'd been here almost a year…couldn't stand to face more months of frustration from Charter, who assigned us phone numbers already in use (twice), missed appointments several times, provided seven different modems, each service person claiming the previous one had "done it all wrong." When we tried TV and failed to get reception, one of the techs who came out tried to turn around rather than back across the creek culvert…and stuck his big van crosswise, front wheels hanging over the creek, blocking our access. We've learned to put up with the TV pixilating just as the plot's revealed. <g> I'll try the link you provided, in case there's something new now.

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I would contact all of the providers and get on their case. Additionally, contact one the Geek Squads at Best Buy if you have one of their stores. They may have some suggestions for you. Anyone around who has access to some type of WIFI in the area should be able to help you in one way or another including the phone companies. Be persistent with them.

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Does anybody have this speech to text app, and know the benefits?

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Google Live Transcribe is quite new, still being beta tested, but is available. It got a very good review from Shari Eberts on her "Living with Hearing Loss" blog. It is only available for Android devices (i.e., not for IPhones or IPads), but Target has a small tablet for $50 (may have been on sale two weeks ago) and a larger table for just over a hundred. The blog says that Live Transcribe needs WiFi (internet) to work but that it worked well during a board meeting–more accurate than Ava, doesn't require all participants to have it (just the HOH person), produces a stream of text without breaks or indications of different speakers. Live Transcribe works a little better than I Hear You 2. Live Transcribe is free–no subscription, no need for others to have it installed. One of the people who commented to the blog had used it for a church service, where it did a good job of provided text for the sermon. Users say it works well for board meetings of as many as 15 people, with a mic in the center. I hope to have a tablet, mic, and Live Transcribe before a series of meetings in early August–I've either skipped meetings or been totally frustrated the last couple of months. Meetings have been a challenge for me for years; the return of the Meniere's monster May 24 has made things far, far more difficult.

Liked by kmgiamei

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@joangela

Does anybody have this speech to text app, and know the benefits?

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joangela, by far the best speech to text app is only available for Android phones. It's called Live Transcribe. It's free but it does require a Wi-Fi connection. If you don't already have an Android phone, you can get an unlocked phone for about $40. You don't have to have phone service to get and use the app. Therefore, there will be no monthly fees.
Tony

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I'm late coming to this discussion so it's possible no one is paying attention anymore. You do need a smart phone for these apps but the apps are free.
The two I have used are Google Transcribe and Otter Voice.
I bought a cheap ($50) Android for Google Transcribe. Like Shari Eberts, I wrote enthusiastically about it on my blog. I was thrilled to have any kind of speech to text app after all these years. I chose not to get phone service on the Android, however, since I already have an iPhone and phone service would have greatly added to the expense. That meant I had to have wifi to get Google Transcribe, and often it wasn't available.
Now I have Otter Voice on my iPhone and I'm impressed. You need cell or wifi. Smart Phones work fine on wifi. You can even make and receive calls by going into settings and allowing wifi calling. Unlike Transcribe, Otter Voice puts a line break between each speaker, it can identify them if you give a name (otherwise it's "Speaker 1", Speaker 2, etc.) and it even punctuates. I used it in a complicated meeting of four people recently where a lot of technical terms were used. I was amazed at how accurate the transcription was.
On the subject of live captions, Innocaption has also been life-changing for me. I have had a desk captioned phone for years, but I have never been able to use my smart phone for calls. Now, thanks to Innocaption, I can make calls anywhere and have live captions.
Innocaption and Otter Voice are free. You can pay to upgrade if you use them a lot and want additional features

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@katherinebouton

I'm late coming to this discussion so it's possible no one is paying attention anymore. You do need a smart phone for these apps but the apps are free.
The two I have used are Google Transcribe and Otter Voice.
I bought a cheap ($50) Android for Google Transcribe. Like Shari Eberts, I wrote enthusiastically about it on my blog. I was thrilled to have any kind of speech to text app after all these years. I chose not to get phone service on the Android, however, since I already have an iPhone and phone service would have greatly added to the expense. That meant I had to have wifi to get Google Transcribe, and often it wasn't available.
Now I have Otter Voice on my iPhone and I'm impressed. You need cell or wifi. Smart Phones work fine on wifi. You can even make and receive calls by going into settings and allowing wifi calling. Unlike Transcribe, Otter Voice puts a line break between each speaker, it can identify them if you give a name (otherwise it's "Speaker 1", Speaker 2, etc.) and it even punctuates. I used it in a complicated meeting of four people recently where a lot of technical terms were used. I was amazed at how accurate the transcription was.
On the subject of live captions, Innocaption has also been life-changing for me. I have had a desk captioned phone for years, but I have never been able to use my smart phone for calls. Now, thanks to Innocaption, I can make calls anywhere and have live captions.
Innocaption and Otter Voice are free. You can pay to upgrade if you use them a lot and want additional features

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@katherinebouton Thanks for that info. I also have an iPhone and was considering Otter and Google Transcribe but didn't want another phone in my pocket. Since it is free, I will download Otter and give it a try at our next meeting.

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@mikepa

@katherinebouton Thanks for that info. I also have an iPhone and was considering Otter and Google Transcribe but didn't want another phone in my pocket. Since it is free, I will download Otter and give it a try at our next meeting.

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In Otter- you have to set the lock screen to not lock up- I told otter- that’s crazy- next update hopefully fixed. I think it is good for the fact just using it without instructions though. I am impressed. See how it is for you. I used it at a cafe with 6 folks around me-

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@mikepa

@katherinebouton Thanks for that info. I also have an iPhone and was considering Otter and Google Transcribe but didn't want another phone in my pocket. Since it is free, I will download Otter and give it a try at our next meeting.

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I am going to the next step for Otter. I will be projecting it at some open, municipal meetings. Will chime in on that after tests.

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The two best apps I’ve found are Google Live Transcribe available only on Android devices, not iPhones or Apple devices. It is fast and surprisingly accurate. But you need a good cell connection or WiFi. I understand there are some new Android devices which operate the app without a cell connection.
Second is Microsoft Translate. It’s not as easy to use or as fast and accurate, but it works on any device.
There are lots of others, these are just the ones I’ve had the best results with.

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@maryjax

The two best apps I’ve found are Google Live Transcribe available only on Android devices, not iPhones or Apple devices. It is fast and surprisingly accurate. But you need a good cell connection or WiFi. I understand there are some new Android devices which operate the app without a cell connection.
Second is Microsoft Translate. It’s not as easy to use or as fast and accurate, but it works on any device.
There are lots of others, these are just the ones I’ve had the best results with.

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I would be very interested in how Otter works when you project it for a meeting. Ive seen Live Transcribe used this way and it was very comparable to CART.

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Like Katherine, I’m weighing in late. Like our original posting – I also live out in the boonies with poor internet and cell service. The folks who live out by me also use AT&T as the only cell phone service and it has been decent. For the internet I wanted to let you know one thing I did way back when we first lived here and that was to call the local phone company (landline) and I played the “handicapped” card and asked how I could get internet since I was using a captioned phone that required it. Bottom line, they came out and gave me the “last DSL line “ in their box. I’ve since moved on with phones since I only use my cell phone now – the service from AT&T has improved. We found a neighbor who is at the top of the hill who has internet that he shares as long as we are in line of sight with his house so that’s what we have now. Good luck!!!

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