Dictating to type a message is pretty handy, but dictation in iOS has been pretty basic till now. With plenty of features sorely lacking, it was easy to stay away from Dictation and type your texts the old-fashioned way. After all, even if you did use it, you’d have to resort to typing for a lot of stuff in the end, like punctuation and emojis.

With iOS 16, Dictation is getting a much-needed revamp. You can now insert emojis while dictating your message. There’s no need to stop your dictation in the middle to enter an emoji or edit your message once it’s dictated to make room for emojis.

Other brilliant updates to Dictation include auto-punctuation and seamless switching between text and voice. Dictation can now automatically enter punctuation marks like commas, periods, question marks, etc. in your messages while you’re speaking.

It uses on-device intelligence for these new updates, so you don’t have to worry about your data leaving your phone.

Dictation also doesn’t take up the entire keyboard anymore. With the keyboard available at your fingertips, you can use it to complement dication and churn out that perfect text. Even if you switch to the keyboard, dictation remains active until you explicitly disable it, so you can speak and type in tandem, making it a truly seamless experience. Here’s how you can use the new and improved dictation in iOS 16 and enter emojis with your voice.

Using Dictation to Enter Emojis in Text

Entering emojis while using dictation to type a text is as easy as it can be, provided that it’s available for use on your phone. The feature to insert emojis with dictation is only available on iPhones with A12 Bionic and later. That includes iPhones XS, XR, and later models only.

It’s also only available in these languages:

  • Cantonese (Hong Kong)
  • English (Australia, Canada, India, UK, U.S.)
  • French (France), German (Germany)
  • Japanese (Japan)
  • Mandarin Chinese (China mainland, Taiwan)
  • Spanish (Mexico, Spain, U.S.)

To enter an emoji using your voice, tap the ‘Dictation’ (Microphone) icon in the bottom-right corner of the keyboard.

Then, say the emoji name following it with the keyword “emoji”. Adding the keyword “emoji” in the end is the only trick you need to make it work. E.g., say “Happy face emoji” or “Drunk emoji” to enter the related emojis. Dictate or type the rest of your text and tap the ‘Dictation’ icon again to stop dictation. Until you tap the dictation icon to disable it, it’ll stay enabled.

That’s it. Now, you can truly type out your messages hands-free without them looking like they were sent by someone from the nineteenth century who had no concept of emojis.