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macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 28, 2015
Is there a way to keep Dictation from timing out, and also from shutting off when you use the keyboard, or click into a new place in the document with the mouse? [For the latter, say you're dictating, and want to move the cursor to a new point.]

Neither of these are an issue for Voice Control, which stays on permanently. The problem is that I've tested Voice Control, and found it both a bit less accurate than Dictation, and far slower. This can be seen in all apps, but is especially pronounced when dictating into MS Word.

For instance, Dictation generally keeps up with my speaking, but only stays on for 1 minute. By contrast, Voice Control won't shut off regardless of how long I take. But even if I dictate a relatively short paragraph (75 words) into Word, it can take ~90–120 seconds (!) to display the full paragraph after I finish speaking. The wait is so long that I'm not sure if it's still processing, or missed the last part of what I said.

Also, Dictation starts up immediately, but with Voice Control there's often a lag (e.g., compare the two when dictating a phrase into the Google search field in Safari).

I assume most of the differences are because Dictation accesss Apple's servers for processing, while Voice Control runs entirely locally. That could explain why Apple set a default 1 minute timeout. [Is it possible to change this with a Terminal setting?] But if so, it's unfortunate that also causes it to shut off when you do anything with the mouse or cursor. [Maybe also a Terminal setting for this?]

And it also explains why Dictation is more accurate.

Buy why is Voice Control so much slower than Dictation? It doesn't appear to be CPU-limited; on my 2019 i9 iMac, it only uses a single core, at ~20%–40%.
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