'Seamless' voice-to-text feature for Android will let you turn speech into text instantly

A new feature headed to Android aims to make speech-to-text easier to use
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
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June Wan/ZDNET

If you've ever struggled to find the voice-to-text option when you need it, a new Google keyboard feature could make hands-free texting a lot easier.

At present, if you want to use voice texting on an Android phone, the process involves tapping a small microphone icon above the keyboard and waiting for the signal to start talking. As you dictate your message, it's transcribed with included punctuation. It's not necessarily a complex process, but it is easy to tap the wrong spot to open the feature and there can be times it's hard to find in the first place. 

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The process could soon be smoother though, because in the latest beta of Gboard, 13.8, a new feature called "Seamless voice typing" is detailed. The feature isn't live yet, but it will apparently start voice typing as soon as the keyboard is shown -- no tapping the microphone required. This will be an optional setting, so if you decide you want to stick to the traditional method, you'll have that choice. Seamless voice typing was first spotted by 9to5Google, who dug through lines of code in the latest app build and uncovered text describing the feature. 

If you're regularly sending messages in environments where there are a lot of people talking, this might not be the best feature for you, but if you utilize voice-to-text often, this would certainly be a time saver and would lessen typos, making sure your messages come across clearly.

There's no indication as to when this feature will be available, but since it's starting to appear in a beta version of the app, it's likely not too far off. Google does have a special Assistant voice typing toolbar that's exclusive to Pixel devices, but the seamless text feature seems like it's going to be available to all Android devices. 

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