Air Dictate: Harnessing Siri for Dictation on your Mac

Lawyers who use Macs and prefer to dictate will be excited about Air Dictate (iTunes link), the new app from Portland, Oregon developer Avatron. Air Dictate uses Siri technology plus a small receiver app to turn your iPhone 4S into a dictation device linked to your Mac. Any text that you dictate into Air Dictate is automatically transcribed into text on your Mac (so long as both devices are on the same wireless network). This entire post was dictated using Air Dictate (though I made transcription corrections and added links manually). I am very impressed with the app’s design end ease-of-use.

Old school users of dictation (dictators?) may need to adjust some habits in using Air Dictate. You can’t “rewind” to edit over previously dictated text. Also, Air Dictate transcribes what you say faithfully which can be a setback if you are used to dictating instructions to your assistant. My old dictation habit of saying “strike that…” quickly reemerged while I was using Air Dictate (I haven’t dictated in years).

That said, being able to see the results of your dictation on screen immediately made composing the rest of my dictation much easier. Using Air Dictate I was able to walk around while dictating and see the results on my large computer screen while I worked. While you can capture your dictation on the iPhone 4S using any app that accepts text input, Air Dictate puts your dictation where you want it the first time be it a text editor, Pages, Microsoft Word, Excel, Firefox, OmniFocus or other Mac app.

Air Dictate faithfully dictates small and large blocks of text. The delay in transcribing the text onto your Mac is very short. In the amount of time you would stop to compose your next thought, Air Dictate has transcribed your previous thoughts on screen. You can dictate into any text field whether the open page of a text editor or the search box in your browser. Air Dictate seems like a must have app for any lawyer who uses a Mac and an iPhone 4S.

Air Dictate is currently $.99 in the App Store. Highly recommended.

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