Smartphones, etc.

Smartphones, etc.

Are they really “all-rounders”?

Smartphones have come to be so much a part of our daily routines that it is hard to imagine life without them. Their relatively large displays with touch control and their usually high-performance processors allow the use of a large number of applications. Especially popular, of course, are applications that can be controlled through the display. But can they also be used for dictation?

Dictating with a smartphone

Dictating with a smartphone
  • Are smartphones suitable for dictation purposes?
  • advantages of smartphones
  • disadvantages when dictating with a smartphone
  • advantages of digital dictation devices

The best-known smartphones are Apple’s iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. Many applications are available for these models. Some even allow recording of spoken memos or use speech recognition. Even PDAs, BlackBerrys, and mobile phones can be used for generating oral notes. But are these “all-rounders” suitable substitutes for a professional digital dictation device?

We will give you a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones as compared to professional dictation devices to help you determine at what point the investment in a dictation device is a sensible one.

The convenient planner for mobile work
Smartphones, PDAs, and the like are true all-rounders, and in many respects, they are useful companions:

  • Many of them can no longer be called “small”, but they remain easily portable.
  • They are ideal as organizers: Calendars, task and appointment planners, and contact and address data are always easily accessible.
  • E-mails can (to a certain degree) be processed and spoken memos recorded.
  • These devices can be used for surfing the internet, taking photos, and playing games.
  • They are equipped with various ports – USB, infrared, and Bluetooth – allowing data such as telephone numbers to be easily synchronized with a PC. Recorded memos can also be uploaded to a PC.
  • All applications are easy to control by means of the touch display.

Not only advantages
But, in addition to these advantages, there are also disadvantages:

  • Smartphones are not ergonomic: The touch-screen control means that the smartphone must be held at a certain distance so that the user can see the display.
  • They are not equipped with a sliding switch or buttons that are suitable for “blind” dictation such as those who dictate professionally are used to. It is virtually impossible to dictate without constantly looking at the display.
  • The posture required to see the display means that there is always a relatively great distance between the microphone and the mouth. This often means that audio quality is severely limited. Files of useful quality are very large (often several megabytes).
  • The range of functions available for dictation is very limited. There are usually no insert or index functions.
  • Smartphones rarely support workflow, and transcription by secretarial staff is only possible with limitations. Complex workflows that are normal in large organizations cannot be reproduced.
  • In environments in which WLAN is either limited or not available at all (as is often the case in hospitals, for instance), it is difficult to transmit dictations to transcriptions stations.
  • The partially integrated speech recognition applications (such as Siri) are de facto not usable for professional dictation in any effective way. Nor is data security guaranteed in any way on the servers of Apple, Samsung, and similar companies.
  • Standard PC applications have only a limited ability to edit the data formats generated.

Advantages of digital dictation devices
While a digital dictation device is one more gadget to carry around with you, this additional device can be very much worth the trouble.

  • Modern dictation devices are light and easy to use. They are ergonomically designed so as to allow work without fatiguing the hand.
  • Dictation devices can be tailored to the individual user. The function buttons, for example, can be freely reprogrammed, allowing quick operation.
  • Modern dictation devices fulfil the highest security requirements, coming equipped with password protection and the option of encrypted dictation transmission.
  • A great deal of additional information, such as author name, type of dictation, name of secretarial staff, and priority can be added to a digital dictation before it is sent to the desired secretarial staff.
  • Storage and battery life suffice for hours of work.
  • The sliding switch allows recording and playback to be easily controlled by hand. Later addition of text or deletion of passages is uncomplicated.
  • The recording quality is suitable for professional speech recognition applications such as Opens external link in new windowDigtaSoft Voice.

Bottom line: If you dictate, do it in a professional manner
Smartphones, PDAs, and similar devices are not only used for telephoning, but also serve as planners and information access and storage when you are out of the office. They are also suitable for short spoken notes. But if they are regularly used for dictation, they match up very poorly with professional digital dictation devices.

Do you have any further questions or would you like to receive an offer ? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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