Turn Dictation OFF or ON for iPad or iPhone
Dictation on the iPad and iPhone converts your words into text, it can make typing in iOS easier but it’s also easy to accidentally activate with an inadvertent touch. For a variety of reasons you may want to either turn it on or off, and if you don’t use Dictation it’s simple to disable which also hides the little microphone button from appearing on the keyboard.
How to Enable or Disable Dictation in iOS
Typically Dictation is turned ON by default, but sometimes upgraded iOS doesn’t have the feature on. The instructions are the same either way, it’s just a matter of what the switch is set to:
- Open Settings app in iOS and tap on “General”
- Tap on “Keyboard” and look for “Dictation”, swipe to either ON to OFF
- For Disabling: Tap “Turn Off” to confirm disabling of the feature
When you attempt to enable or disable Dictation, you will receive a message that warns “The information Dictation uses to respond to your requests will be removed from Apple servers. If you want to use Dictation later, it will take time to re-send this information.” That’s fairly self explanatory, but basically if you turned it off and then re-enable the service it has to reupload voice data before it works again.
Similarly, if you’ve never used the feature and are turning it on for the first time, it will have a popup informing you that the Dictation data will be uploaded to Apple. The reason your voice data is uploaded to Apple is so that it can be processed and then accurately transcribed on remote servers voice recognition servers, rather than trying to squeeze that process out locally on the device.
The Dictation button is always next to the spacebar key on the iOS keyboard, regardless of being on an iPhone or iPad, it looks like a little microphone as you can see here:
This is what Dictation button looks like on an iPad keyboard with a prior release of iOS software:
Dictation is a great feature and we would generally recommend having it on due to it’s wide range of uses.