Dictation on Apple Watch

I do a lot of walking. At least I try to. As my mind wanders, inevitably I have some thoughts I want to write down. Save the world type thoughts. Ok, not really. Just stuff I needed for myself.

I had heard some good things about an app called Just Press Record. The app made it simple to record a memo and then transcribe it. Not only that, the recordings could be found on your Mac as an audio file (but not the transcribed text).

After purchasing the app, I installed it on my Apple Watch Series 0 (AW0). I used it a few times and although I liked it, I didn’t love it. Then came my AW3.

I installed Just Press Record as a complication on one of my watch faces and tried it out. MUCH better. The problem on the AW0 was that since the processor was so slow, I was never entirely sure if I had to push the app to open it and then push it again to start recording. Regardless, it was not optimal. But again, on AW3, it was a much faster experience.

Enter, Drafts.

I have used this app on my phone for a long time. I used to tell everyone I knew that they should buy it. But then recently, an odd thing happened. I found myself not using it and I’m not sure why.

As I was playing around with my new watch, I decided to install it as a complication and try it out. I had never used it on my original watch. The result?

Possibly my favorite watch app right now.

Time will tell but I see using Drafts more than any other app on my watch (outside of fitness apps). This is not to say that you should be choosing Drafts over Just Press Record. They have their pros and cons as you would expect. As I see it, they are:

Just Press Record

Pros:

  • It creates an actual digital audio file. If transcription is shaky, you always have the audio file to fall back on.
  • It syncs to the cloud so you can access the audio files on your computer.

Cons:

  • The transcription is only shown on your ios device, not your computer.
  • You can’t copy/paste the transcription.
  • The transcription doesn’t always work that well.
  • You don’t get immediate visual feedback that it’s recording. You may not notice this unless you compare it to Drafts which is lightning fast.

Drafts

Pros:

  • Fast to dictate. You receive immediate feedback that it’s dictating as it shows you the waveform moving and the transcription typing out.
  • Just like any Drafts note, you can then do something with it (i.e., sending the text somewhere else like your task manager)
  • For some reason, the transcription seems to be more accurate than Just Press Record’s transcription.

Cons:

  • No audio file so you have to rely on the transcription being accurate.
  • No sync to your computer

Even if Drafts didn’t have a lot more functionality, I would probably choose that for a watch complication over JPR.

Here are some helpful videos to help you understand Drafts.

More importantly, here is an article I wrote on how to become more efficient that revolves around using Drafts.

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