I have a problem trying to help a dear friend who is terminally ill and who now cant hear. I am trying to put some simple voice recognition software on to an I pad so that his wife who is wearing the mike can talk to him while she is mobile. Unfortunately I am not that savvy and don't know which software would be appropriate and how to get it to connect to the mike, Any ideas greatfully accepted


Hi Hoverboy,

I'm assuming that the wife will dictate into the ipad, so your friend can read the words?

I do lots of dictating into my two ipads. Here are my thoughts.

I'd say one free app is called Dragon Dictate. It holds about 250 words on the screen, and displays in a reasonably large font by default. The downsides are that (1) you can't see the words as they appear on the screen, and (2) the recording button is top dead center on the screen, which is a hassle to press repeatedly because it's so high up on the device. But an advantage is that no keyboard pops up, so the whole screen can be used to display the dictation. 

Another app that I use all the time is the TextKraft series of editors. It's far more flexible, and can display any font size that you like.

Come to think of it, maybe for your application, the default Ipad Notes app might be good enough. Try it out to see if your friend likes it.

As far as I can tell, all the dictation-enabled apps have the same accuracy. Probably this is because they all use the same underlying Dragon engine. The Dragon Dictation app has the brains to look at your Contacts list so it can get more people and company names right, and has a few more formatting commands. but nothing of consequence for your application, I think.


For microphones, in a quiet room you won't need any microphone. Any smart iphone or ipad will have a mic that is good enough to pick up the voice for dictation, and all recent ipads have a microphone / dictation key on the keypad next to the spacebar.

If you have enough background noise to make the default mic impractical, then I recommend an Olympus ME52W directional, noise-cancelling lapel mic, with a cable long enough to hand the ipad back and forth, if that's what is required. It comes with a 3 foot cable.

You will also need an adapter to split the ipad TRRS (tip ring ring sleeve) connector into separate mic and earphone connections, because the mic connector is a TS (tip sleeve) single channel connector that won't work if you plug it directly into an ipad/iphone. The splitter adaptors are $5 or so (look for them on Amazon).

I just ordered a couple of these from china, but they take 2 months to get here. I cite this example so you can look it up and find some local ones for faster delivery. The key words are "3.5mm to TRRS" for the adaptor.

SuperBZ 2pcs Colorful 3.5mm Stereo TRRS 4Pole Plug to 3.5mm Mic & Headset Jack iPhone Audio Adapter"

Good luck!
Thanks so much wwwjk for the reply. I really appreciate that . As it stands at the moment I have connected a blue tooth mike to, the I pad and it si now ( as you have pointed out) a matter of getting the right software .
The criteria being that the I pad must be open to receive text all the time as it is the wife who will wish to initiate contact ( the deaf person of course need only speak to do so) And must print in real time.
Cant find the right software yet but will try I padd notes as you suggest.

Thanks again and happy new year
Glad to help. 

Good luck meeting your criteria of the software "must be open to receive text all the time." I don't think that is possible with the technology of today on an Ipad. 

The problem is that the dictation engine in all the ipad software programs is the same engine -- Dragon. And that engine operates in chunks of 1 or 2 minutes max, before it stops listening so it can do translation. So in operation, you touch the button, dictate, stop (or talk until it times out) so it can complete transcription, then restart it, etc.

If you want full time transcription, you'll have to buy a Windows laptop and a full copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Then you'll have enough horsepower in the laptop, and enough local software power, to be "open to receive text all the time."

If you want the "full time stuff", my recommendation is to save your time -- get a nice laptop (I love Lenovo Thinkpads) and Dragon, be done with it, and save everyone's time messing around with partial solutions. It sounds like you don't have much time for the patient, so he would probably appreciate being able to communicate asap.

Thanks so much Kevin I appreciate the time

Regards Brian

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