How To Use Siri For Dictation On iPhone



Apple has overhauled Siri dictation in iOS 16. Here’s what you need to know about using Siri for dictation on iPhone.


Siri gets a lot of flack for being inferior to OK Google and Amazon’s Alexa. But while it’s true OK Google and Alexa are generally “smarter” than Siri, Apple digital assistant by far wins when it comes to privacy. Using Siri is inherently more private than other digital voice assistants.

Still, Apple is constantly working to improve Siri, and the company has made great strides on that front in iOS 16. Specifically, Siri dictation in iOS 16 has gotten much much better. Here’s what you need to know…

How To Use Siri For Dictation On iPhone
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What Is Siri Dictation?

Simply put, Siri dictation is the ability to have your spoken words transcribed in real-time as you speak them. 

You can use Siri dictation on basically any text entry field on the iPhone: from emails to notes to Google search fields in Safari. Siri dictation is great for those times you don’t have your fingers free to type on the keyboard.

Siri dictation is especially useful in the winter when you may have gloves on. Now you don’t have to get your hands cold – leave the gloves on and simply dictate any message you want.

How To Use Siri Dictation

Siri dictation is very easy to use. And while these instructions are for iOS 16, Siri dictation basically works the same in earlier versions of iOS.

Here’s how to use Siri dictation:

  1. Tap any text entry field you want to dictate text in. This could include text fields in emails, messaging apps, browsers, and more.
  2. In the lower right-hand corner of the keyboard that appears when you tap a text entry field, you’ll see a microphone button below the return key. Tap the microphone button.
  3. Now simply speak whatever words you want to have transcribed into text. The transcribed words will appear in near real-time.

When you are done transcribing, you can simply tap the microphone button again to turn off Siri dictation or, in certain apps like Apple Messages, you can just tap the normal send button to send your transcribed text as a message and Siri dictation will automatically stop.

Siri Dictation Tips & Hints

As simple as Siri dictation is to you, you may also benefit by knowing some of these tips and hints:

  • Siri dictation doesn’t require an Internet connection on some iPhone models, but it generally works better and faster if you do have an Internet connection (cellular or Wi-Fi).
  • While you can end Siri dictation by tapping the microphone button below the iOS keyboard, you can also tap the microphone icon popup that appears above the dictated text to end Siri dictation too.
  • Before iOS 16, you had to manually speak punctuation to add it to dictated messages. But in iOS 16, Siri will intelligently add commas, periods, and question marks to dictated words.
  • Also in iOS 16, you can now dictate emojis. Simply say something like “smilie emoji” or “fist bump emoji” to insert the emoji into the text field by just using your voice.

And that’s how to use Siri dictation! It’s a very handy feature that becomes more useful as you use it. You’ll find oftentimes it is much faster to use Siri dictation than manually typing out text.

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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