As an avid blogger and a person whose favorite leisurely activity is to write, I’m a big fan of the typing experience. I take my keyboards seriously, which is probably why I have a handful of pretty expensive keyboards at my home. I love typing whatever it is I’m thinking of writing, and a good keyboard makes the experience of jotting down the thoughts much more enjoyable. 

Of course, there are times when I simply don’t feel like typing, my fingers malfunction and I continuously mistype, my fingernails become longer than they should and I keep hitting the wrong key, etc. At times like those, I only wish that I could type better. I don’t hope that I didn’t have to type stuff in.

Sure, those who aren’t touch typists would probably disagree with me. I’ve known many people who hate having to type stuff on their computer. For them, the latest update to Google Docs will come as a blessing.

So, I’m not sure how long ago did Google release this new feature, but I was introduced to it just now. I gave it a try, and even with my non-native, unclear English speaking, Google managed to get 80% of the words I spoke right.

Oh, did I forget to write what it is that I’m talking about? It’s voice typing. And you can try it out on Google Docs right away.

voice typing on Google Docs

If you aren’t prompted to use it after you open a new Document on Google Docs/Drive, you can click on the Tools menu and select Voice Typing. That’s assuming Google has publicly rolled it out to every user. If it’s still being rolled out and hasn’t been activated on your account, you may need to wait a while.

So, the surprising bit of this is how accurately it transformed my spoken words into text. I regularly talk about how mediocre I am at speaking English. Even with such a low-level English speaking experience, I was able to achieve about 80% accuracy using this tool.

I can only imagine what the people who can speak loud and clear English can do with it!

There was a time when we all needed to type in everything we needed to search. Then Siri came around, followed by Google Now and Cortana, and we can get things done just by asking. And we don’t even have to ask nicely! Those make sense, though. When we need things done on the phone, we probably want it done quickly.

apple wireless keyboard
I happen to love Apple Wireless Keyboard (the old generation) more than the MacBook Pro’s built-in keyboard.

But for writing on a computer, this is an entirely different thing. I enjoy the typing experience on a good keyboard. However, let’s just say, this voice typing technology takes over and the world gets a bit more competitive. If I were to write for a living, I’d be falling behind if I didn’t make use of this technology to type faster and meet deadlines.

Sure, I don’t write for a living as of now. And I hope I won’t have to. I enjoy writing, and I hope to keep it on the sideline. But just the thought of technology taking over at such a rapid pace makes me sort of worried. And mind you, this is coming from someone who enjoys the progress of technology and is obsessed with the geeky stuff.

apple-laptop-notebook-notes

I’m sure when typewriters came around, writers at that time had similar thoughts. It’s been a long time since then. Typewriters came and went. Now we’re at the dawn of a voice-typing generation. Writing with a pen and paper still exists to this day, though mostly in academic situations, and I’m sure typing on an actual keyboard instead of voice-typing will be around for many more years to come.

In fact, I’m surprised that I’m writing this post in such a tone instead of being super excited for such a great feature. I guess, the fact that I don’t speak well, I’m introverted, and I like quietness has something to do with it? Who knows!

In any case, I’m sure this feature will come in handy for many people in many instances. It won’t just make us lazier; as with the most things in technology, there sure will be situations where this feature will be highly useful.

Have you given Google’s voice typing a try? Go ahead and try it! Then come back and let me know what you think. (Pro tip: Speak your response in Google Docs and copy paste the text in the comments!)

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13 thoughts

  1. I think that voice typing will be to serious writers what e-readers are to serious booknerds – a novelty to use occasionally but certainly not something that could ever compare to or usurp the original. Where, for example, I’m simply aghast at any suggestion that the printed word is on its way out in favor of all digital content, I still enjoy the convenience and portability of an e-reader for on-the-go but always find myself gravitating towards real, tangible books any other time (as evidenced by my busting-at-the-seams overstuffed bookshelves). The practicality of voice dictation/typing, I believe, is chiefly for people who may be dissuaded or prevented from writing through issues such as disability (including but not limited to things like arthritis that would certainly make voice typing a welcome relief). Having said that, I know some people prefer what I personally perceive as an overreliance on technology to perform basic functions we should and could very well accomplish ourselves – and I believe typing is one of those things. How else can you explain that, even in this day and age, some people still covet, search for and own not one but multiple typewriters for actual use in their writing endeavors?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with what you said. I’m the kind who likes the comfort of an e-book reader not just because it’s more comfortable, but because it’s more practical in some ways. I might not be able to take 4-5 books on a weeks-long trip due to the shortage of space, but I can take hundreds on a Kindle. It’s practical these days to do so.

      Voice-typing, as opposed to typing on a keyboard, is not as practical except for the situations that you described. I’m sure, as I’ve stated in my post, that there are situations/people that this feature will be very useful for. Treat this post more like an emotional reaction to the thoughts of what the future may look like thanks to the continued development of the feature. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. As someone who used to travel with a backpack full of books even in my youth, I definitely appreciate the convenience of Kindle (whether the actual device or reading app). But I still find that, for me personally, there’s a siren song of the physical book that simply can’t be duplicated in digital form – even with cover art. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried this feature out the other day and while I was surprised by its accuracy I found it difficult to continue after each sentence since I would feel compelled to fix each mistake as it occurred. Unable to keep a train of thought going for long I ended up turning it off and continuing my typing. It certainly is neat feature and I will have to try it out another time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you. It doesn’t always go with the flow of traditional writing experience as when you’re writing, you can think, go back, edit things, or write at a pace that’s comfortable for you as you’re thinking. I’m sure the dictation will get there someday, but I’m not sure if it’ll be as comfortable as actually writing (or typing).

      For people who do podcasting/are great at speaking, this will be the next big thing for sure, though.

      Liked by 1 person

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