I discovered something interesting today in trying to resolve a problem with using Siri Voice Dictation on the iPad mini: it looks like my beloved Gelaskins do not play nicely with the Voice Dictation feature.
Recently I’ve been getting exceptionally poor results when using Voice Dictation. It has been taking far longer than it used to for text to appear once I finish speaking and, far more importantly, the accuracy level had dropped off a cliff. Dictation went from being not that far off 100% accurate to being not that far off insane or 0% accurate. It was outputting pure gibberish more often than not. Just as one quick example, I could speak two full sentences very slowly and clearly and get back a single word that wasn’t even part of my sentences.
At first I wrote this off (stupidly) as just a Siri / server glitch of some kind, and didn’t give it too much thought. Then I tested and noticed that Dictation was working just fine on my iPad 3 and my iPhone 4S. Then I tried a reboot and a hard reboot of my iPad mini and saw no change at all – and I started thinking about what differences there were between my iPad 3 and my iPad mini. One that sprung to mind quickly: the iPad mini had a Gelaskin on the back of it; the iPad 3 did not.
This morning I removed the Gelaskin from the iPad mini. And … Boom – Dictation was immediately back to performing beautifully.
It’s right back to being very near 100% accurate – which makes me feel pretty sure the Gelaskin was causing the issue.
Interestingly, when I put a case on the iPad mini, it has no adverse effect on Dictation. I’ve tested with two different cases this morning and Dictation still works flawlessly.
So I would say this looks like Gelaskins are just not playing nicely with the iPad mini and Vloice Dictation. Which is odd, because I’ve used Gelaskins with the iPad 3 and I don’t recall seeing this issue.
Are any of you using Gelaskins on your iPad mini? If so, how does Dictation work for you?
UPDATE: The folks at Gelakins noticed this post and were kind enough to contact me and offer a free replacement. I received and installed that yesterday and Voice Dictation is working perfectly now. So this story has a happy ending.
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