Is there a free app for speech to text?

Speech to text technology converts spoken words into digital text. It allows people to dictate text instead of typing it. This technology has many uses including productivity apps, accessibility features, transcribing audio content, and more. The goal of this article is to provide an overview of some of the top free speech to text apps available.

What is Speech to Text?

Speech to text is a speech recognition software that enables the recognition and translation of spoken language into text through computational linguistics. The software uses algorithms to analyze the acoustic and language information in speech and convert it to text (

Speech to text works by breaking down the audio of speech intoindividual sounds, analyzing the sounds for patterns, and using algorithms to match the patterns against a vocabulary of words. As words are identified, they are assembled into sentences and paragraphs that reflect the spoken content. The software continuously “learns” speech patterns and vocabulary to improve accuracy over time.

The capabilities of speech to text allow users to dictate text rather than typing. This can be faster and more convenient in many situations. Speech to text enables hands-free data entry and document creation. It can be used for transcribing audio recordings, taking dictation, entering text on smartphones, automating data entry, and various accessibility applications.

Benefits of Speech to Text Apps

Speech to text apps offer many benefits that enhance productivity and accessibility for diverse users.1 A primary benefit is the time savings they provide. Rather than painstakingly typing out text, users can simply speak naturally to produce written documents or messages quickly and easily. This allows faster note taking, drafting, emailing, and more. The convenience factor is another major benefit – speech input works seamlessly alongside everyday activities and enables true multitasking. Users can walk, drive, or cook while simultaneously dictating notes or responses.

Furthermore, speech to text apps greatly aid accessibility.2 They enable those unable to type well to still express themselves through the written word. People with disabilities like repetitive strain injuries, arthritis, or motor impairment especially benefit. Apps provide essential assistive technology, leveling the playing field in school and work. Overall, speech to text apps deliver efficient hands-free productivity and increased accessibility to diverse users.

Top Free Speech to Text Apps

There are several high quality free speech to text apps available for major platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. According to TechRadar, some of the top options include:

Google Voice Typing

Google Voice Typing is a free speech to text app included on Android devices. It can transcribe speech in real time with decent accuracy. Key features include support for several languages and the ability to dictate text messages or search queries.


Otter is a top rated free app for iOS and Android. It can record meetings, conversations, lectures, and more while transcribing speech. Otter’s key features include the ability to collaborate on transcripts in real time, search within conversations, and export transcripts to multiple formats.


Speechnotes is a highly rated Chrome extension and web app for dictating text. It works well for documents, emails, articles, and more. Key features include cross-device syncing, over 50 supported languages, and the ability to export transcripts to Google Docs.

Google Voice Typing

Google Voice Typing is a free speech-to-text transcription app developed by Google. It allows users to speak into their phone or computer microphone and have their speech converted into text in real-time (1). Google Voice Typing is available for Android and iOS mobile devices as well as Chrome browsers on desktop and laptop computers.

The app features real-time conversation transcription, auto punctuation insertion, support for over 100 languages, offline speech recognition, and easy editing and formatting of transcribed text (1). Users can access Voice Typing through the native keyboard on Android devices or the Google Docs app. On iOS, it is integrated into select keyboard apps like Gboard.

In testing, Google Voice Typing has demonstrated high transcription accuracy, especially with clear speech and minimal background noise. However, it may struggle with strong accents or more technical vocabulary. While convenient for short transcriptions, the app lacks some advanced customization options of paid solutions like Dragon NaturallySpeaking. But overall, Google Voice Typing provides helpful functionality at no cost across platforms.

(1) “Google Voice Typing review.” TechRadar,

Otter is a popular speech-to-text app that provides fast and accurate live transcriptions. The app is available for free on iOS and Android devices, as well as a web app. Otter uses artificial intelligence to convert speech into text in real-time.

Some key features of Otter include:

  • Ability to record conversations, interviews, lectures, and presentations
  • Generate shareable transcripts
  • Collaboration tools
  • Integration with services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack
  • Web clipper browser extension

In testing, Otter was found to have high transcription accuracy, even with background noise. However, accuracy depends on speaking clearly. Otter’s AI gets better at recognizing each user’s voice over time.

The free version of Otter provides 600 minutes (10 hours) of recordings per month. Additional minutes can be purchased starting at $9.99 per month. Otter also offers enterprise plans. Overall, Otter is a versatile speech-to-text app great for meetings, interviews, lectures, and personal note taking.

Source: Otter Review | PCMag


Speechnotes ( is a free speech to text app available on iOS, Android, Chrome, and as a web app. It was created by Speech Processing Solutions and launched in 2018. Speechnotes uses artificial intelligence to convert speech into text. It is one of the most popular and highly rated speech to text apps available.

Speechnotes is completely free to use with no limits on usage or dictation length. It provides continuous, non-stop dictation with no breaks required. Speechnotes claims to have 95% accuracy for high-quality audio and around 80% accuracy for most users. It works offline and has cross-device syncing between mobile and desktop apps via a user account.

Key features of Speechnotes include the ability to insert punctuation automatically, name voice commands, create shareable documents and PDFs, and integrate with Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and more. Users can also highlight text to edit it later. Overall, Speechnotes provides an accurate and seamless free speech to text experience.


When comparing the top speech-to-text apps, there are a few key factors to consider: accuracy, features, and convenience.

For accuracy, Otter and Google Voice Typing tend to perform the best, with error rates around 5%. Speechnotes is not far behind. Dragon Anywhere, while powerful, can sometimes struggle with accuracy depending on microphone quality.

In terms of features, Otter leads the pack with its ability to generate shareable transcripts, collaborate with others, and sync audio. Dragon Anywhere has robust voice commands built-in. Speechnotes provides useful editing tools. Google Voice Typing integrates seamlessly into Docs.

For convenience, Speechnotes may be the easiest to use with its clean mobile interface. Otter also offers great mobile apps. Dragon Anywhere requires some learning of voice commands. Google Voice Typing requires a Google account and internet connection.

Overall, Otter balances accuracy, features, and convenience the best. But ultimately the right app depends on user needs and preferences. The top free options provide viable speech-to-text capabilities in different ways.


While free speech to text apps provide convenience and accessibility, they also come with some drawbacks. Two key limitations to be aware of are accuracy and privacy.

The accuracy of speech recognition in free apps may be lower than paid solutions, according to some experts. As this article discusses, free apps often use less sophisticated speech recognition algorithms, limited language models, and have fewer audio samples to train on. This can result in more transcription errors on uncommon words or phrases.

Privacy is another concern. Free apps may collect and use speech data for purposes like targeted advertising. As this article notes, it’s important to check privacy policies to see what speech data is collected and how it is handled. Paid solutions may offer more transparency and control over data usage.

While free speech to text has its place, users should weigh factors like accuracy and privacy based on their specific needs. Paid solutions may be preferable for sensitivedictation or high-accuracy requirements.


There are several good options for free speech-to-text apps, including Google Voice Typing, Otter, and Speechnotes. Google Voice Typing is great for quick voice dictations and integrates seamlessly with Android devices. Otter provides more advanced features like generating summaries and sharing transcripts. Speechnotes is designed specifically for taking notes by voice.

Overall, for most basic speech-to-text needs, Google Voice Typing is likely sufficient. The integration with Android and ability to work offline make it a top choice. Otter offers the most features and contextual analysis for conversations and meetings. Speechnotes excels at voice note-taking. Any of these apps can help you save time and effort by converting speech to text for free.

When choosing a speech-to-text app, consider your use case and desired features. But rest assured that there are quality free options available. With continued advances in speech recognition technology, transcription capabilities will likely only improve over time across these apps.

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