The topic of Siri being limited to only a few iOS devices has been discussed ad nauseam. Now that it is quite clear that the older iPhone and iPod touch devices are never going to get Apple’s talking assistant, users can only concentrate on finding good apps and tweaks that replicate Siri’s functionality as accurately as possible. While there are already plenty of good Siri alternatives available for iOS, most of them focus on bringing a conversational personal assistant to your device while overlooking one important feature – the voice dictation button that is available in the keyboard of all Siri-enabled devices. Even the tweaks that port Siri to legacy phones usually leave the keyboard untouched. Having said that, voice dictation is as useful as Siri itself, and it is nice to see that a tweak has finally brought this feature to all jailbroken iDevices. Sara Dictation Keyboard adds the small microphone icon to the stock iOS keyboard, letting you dictate to your device in a number of languages.
On the surface, Sara Dictation Keyboard is a simple tweak and does not require much configuration. It does have a menu of its own in the stock Settings app, but you just have to select your preferred language from there. The tweak supports all the languages that are officially available in iOS for its stock keyboard. Once the language has been selected, head to any app that uses the iOS keyboard, and you’ll see the new mic icon present to the left of the space bar, just the way it is in Siri-enabled devices.
Tapping the mic icon sets Sara Dictation to listen mode. It would have been convenient if the developer had thought of adding some audio response to go with the interface. For now, you are supposed to start dictating immediately after pressing the button, since the only indication of the tweak’s coming into action is the on-screen text. When you are done speaking, tap ‘OK’ and wait for Sara to convert your speech into text. During our testing, the tweak showed decent accuracy and caught most of what we said correctly.
Despite the praiseworthy accuracy, there are some areas of Sara Dictation Keyboard that can use a few improvements. While the tweak works fine with stock apps, there are a few third-party ones in which Sara Dictation keeps listening without any end result. Once the developer fixes this issue and makes the tweak truly universal, it’ll be near perfect. You can grab Sara Dictation Keyboard for free by heading to the ModMyi repo of Cydia store.