Dictation by Blueshift

Transcribe and edit privately, with unlimited minutes

Dictation by Blueshift automatically transcribes spoken audio into text, entirely offline. Import or record for live transcripts. Multiple languages supported. Use synced timestamps to edit the audio. Tap on text to jump to the audio.
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I'm really excited to launch Dictation by Blueshift. My first career was as a journalist, and transcription was always unwanted grunt work. No automated transcription is perfect though, so I made the editing features in the app, like syncing words to timestamps and keeping the timestamps synced as the editing goes. I'm also happy to report that the transcript happens offline. I'm using an iOS 13-only speech recognition framework from Apple that now allows the transcript to happen on device. You can try it on airplane mode! So there are these things together that make it unique as a transcription app, even aside from the offline mode: You can transcribe live, or import files and you can edit with timestamps. I've seen those features separately in different apps, but not altogether. The quality is on par with Siri. It works best when the microphone is about half an arm's length away, a natural phone holding position, for instance. It also works best when recording a person directly, instead of from a speaker. As for pricing, I'm aiming for it to be enough to support major features, improvements and upkeep each year. There is a lot of room to grow! And it's still at least a fifth the cost of other automated transcription competitors. (I say at least because the minutes are unlimited, so the more it's used, the more bang you get for your buck.) Let me know what you think!
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@waller_matthew This is a great idea! What's on the roadmap for your product?
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@_derek_mei I have plenty of active plans for where to go next. Having speaker labels would be extremely valuable, although a challenging engineering task to do on the device. AI punctuation. Improved accuracy. A watch app! A Mac app! There is a lot of room to grow. What would you like to see though?
Great concept! Looking forward to check it out as it is not released in Australia yet.
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Here’s the thing. I downloaded this app. I even pre-ordered prior to it being on PH. What I completely dislike is having to agree to pay $19.99 a year prior to me even being able to try it out. Sure, I get a week free trial. But it should not be tied to agreeing to pay that amount before using it. This type of approach makes me not want to try the app at all. What if I forget to cancel prior to a week of using it? Oh well, your daily right? This is an unfair practice by app developers. It should be that after I use it for a week, I should be given a message that I need to purchase the app. If I would like to continue without a purchase then maybe I used receive extremely limited capabilities or limited access to recording sessions. That is what I think should occur. If your app is superb, I would not mode spending on the investment.
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@haitianwatcher Hi James. This is very good feedback. Currently this is the only behavior for the subscription trial software that Apple provides, and there is no way for a developer to say, "Please ask for a confirmation before charging at the end of the trial," or anything like that. So this is a feature that we could together ask Apple to provide (again because Apple doesn't share anything like user's emails or anything with developers, so developers are pretty constrained. It's good for privacy but tricky for flexibility.) At the same time, I don't want to put everything on Apple. There are creative ways to do free trials that would take additional time and tricky engineering (such as getting around the possibility of users exporting what they want, deleting the app, re-downloading, and doing the free trial again). So we'll look at our options of doing these kinds of trials, ideally without requiring account management systems and new sign-ins and sign-ups and such, although that may be the best way to do things in the end. All that is on us to figure out though. Thanks again for your feedback, all the same.
@waller_matthew Hello Matthew, Thanks for getting back to me. I understand your position. Unfortunately, until the trial period offers another option other than agree that we will charge you 19.99 at the end of the trial, I will pass at this time. Nothing personal. I just feel that if your app is all that it’s suppose to be, I would gladly foot the cost. However, I get the impression that I am being forced to do something given the present option.
Any plans for an Android version?
@james_laslavic1 I would love to have one. Android is a little tougher because I would need to make the machine learning model from scratch for each language, whereas it's a ready-built framework for iOS. It took Google a team of engineers to run their model only on the Pixel line of phones and only in English. However, if Google opens up its work to Android developers in general, or if the current app brings in enough to enable creating those models, then I would love to move forward with that.
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No available in France @waller_matthew ? What's the difference between this and Steno?
@ben_duagim Hi Ben. At the moment we do not have support for French. We're using a new library available in iOS 13 and French is not yet supported. As you noted, it is supported in Steno. The difference between Steno and Dictation is that Steno uses Google's Cloud Speech API, whereas Dictation uses all on-device transcription, which lets us bring the cost way down. Steno requires a pay per minute because Google charges per minute. With Dictation, the minutes are unlimited. The tradeoff is that not as many languages are available (yet), and Google Cloud Speech seems to do a better job at recognizing more distant audio. Steno is also a more mature app, with additional features like auto uploading to different service like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud Drive. Those features may also come to Dictation in the future if it's something that users find wanting.