~mot's phlog

Voice Control

2019-09-20 10:18

The new Voice Control features in iOS 13 are quite something.

The various ways of interacting with apps and the OS are useful--especially if, like me, you have trouble holding an iPhone, let alone swiping and tapping--but Voice Control really shines when it comes to dictating and editing text.

Essentially, using Voice Control with text is like using a verbal version of Vim. It's modal, so you can witter away in Dictation Mode, then switch to Command Mode to knock your text into shape. It works with what Vim calls 'text objects'--words, sentences and paragraphs, &c.. And commands like 'Select next three paragraphs' or 'Move forward seven words' are unlike anything you'd find in a GUI word processor, but have exact equivalents in Vim.

Even if you don't have health problems or disabilities that make using an iPhone or iPad difficult, I'd recommend taking Voice Control for a spin. Its VUI beats the GUI hands down in some areas, from simple stuff like selecting, copying and pasting text to those complicated triple finger swipes that are impossible to get right.

It's hard to get across how well the thing works in writing, see Apple's introductory videos1 for more info.