[UPDATE: Apple has addressed this dictation issue in watchOS 7b3. So, expect that it will work properly in the final release on watchOS 7 this fall]
I’m trying to collect some data to file a bug report with Apple regarding watchOS handling of dictation timeouts. I’d appreciate it if Apple Watch users could help me out by testing on their devices.
Background on the Issue
Dictation on watchOS is implemented by the system. Third party apps, like Drafts, do not have much visibility into this process, they just ask for text input, and get it back when the user completes the process (whether via dictation, or scribbling, etc.).
Dictation is limited to about 30-45 seconds. This is the current issue. Based on a support issue, and my own testing, if you start dictation on watchOS, and keep dictating up to the 30-45 second timeout, watchOS just hangs. No haptic or other indication that a timeout has occurred. You see the text you dictated up to that point, and have a “Cancel” and completion button (which may be “Done”, or “Send” or something else depending on the app you are in). If you tap “Cancel” you can get on with your life, but the dictated text is thrown away. If you tap the “Done” button, that button just disappears and nothing happens. So your only option is to then “Cancel” and dispose of your text.
I know this used to work, and am not sure how long it has been broken. The timeout has always been there, but the “Done” button used to work to save your text - and I believe, if memory serves, there was some kind of haptic to let you know the timeout happened, but I’m not sure about that.
I have tested and confirmed this bug on Apple Watch Series 5 running watchOS 6.1.2. I would like to know if others can reproduce, and if the same issues exists on other watchOS versions, if anyone is running those…so, if you can help, do the following:
- Open Drafts on your Apple Watch
- Tap the microphone to start dictating. Keep dictating for 30+ seconds until you hit the timeout.
- Is the dictation interface stuck as described above, only allowing you to “Cancel” and throw away the text, or can you tap “Done”?
- Try the same in other watch apps that let you input text. I have reproduces in Messages, Bear, and a few others. It’s system wide for me.
Please then report the follow here:
- Did you reproduce the issue? Y or N
- watchOS version
- Apple Watch model
- Apps you reproduced the issue in.
For the developer/technical, this issue is triggered by use of