Best dictation apps for iOS and MacOS

I prefer to dictate text whenever I can.

I have experimented with many dictation apps over the years. In the last year or so, there seems to be an improvement at the system level in dictation, but I still tend to use Drafts for dictation. Performance for me has been good enough, and Drafts was able to exceed the short dictation time allowed by the system. And of course, Drafts allows me to use the text generated for my use cases and works on all my devices.

I am testing an app new to me Whisper Memos, and have used JustPressRecord (recording only), and lightly used the new MacOS dictation features in Sonoma. I like the idea of my device controlling the output, but understand many apps do the hard work at their server level. I worry about security and as a result, do not dictate anything confidential or sensitive, or related to work. I would like an application that works across iOS, MacOS, and Watch OS, if possible.

If you regularly dictate and use the resulting text, what app do you like and why?

Thanks for your thoughts and input.


Some of the more accurate dictation software out now is AI based. I was surprised how accurate they are, though I have to wonder about the privacy aspects of it over a long period of use. Does your speech go to the cloud, or is it local? Is the speech saved somewhere or used to generate the text and then gone? I imagine the Whisper app you have is probably AI based (whisper seems to the code word I have seen that implies LLM based fir some reason).

I am using Apple’s dictation for work, as it is local, but it frequently messes up more technical terms and can’t really be taught new words, at least I can’t figure out how to do it easily and consistently.

If someone knows if the LLM software dictation apps can be local, that would be a good solution


I have used Aiko on iOS and it says it’s transcription is local, but I don’t know how to verify that.


You could put your phone in aeroplane mode and then dictate to Aiko. If it is all on device, it should work without a network or mobile data connection.

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Make sure WiFi is de-activated too …


Seems to be local. Diction off-line worked fine. I don’t know how much dictation you have to do but this seems like an app that’s more set up for small segments and then to copy and paste into relevant areas. Other ones may be better at inserting text into appropriate documents.