Dictating an SMS (= texting via voice input) + 2 NEWBIE questions

Hello, I’m totally new. Never had a smartphone before. Soon I’m going to buy a FairPhone 5.


  1. As I’m a bit disabled, and typing on a microscopic keyboard is out of the question, I need to know if I can SPEAK my SMS-messages .
    And… as I’m using 3 languages [EN FR & NL], if it’s easy to switch languages or do I need to reconfigure 28 items in a preference section and 5 others in a system setting section.
    (I know, I exaggerate a bit; it’s to let you know that I hate non-user-friendly complexity (= tautology) and I prefer simplicity above anything else).

  2. s there a BOOK (¿for dummies?) I can buy to start learning how to use Android, preferably on a Fairphone; but I’m afraid the latter is too much.
    I found one title in French* but it’s latest edition is dated from the beginning of 2014…
    *”Pour les nuls - : Les smartphones android pour les nuls, nouvelle ed”
    And yes, I prefer reading to looking at a screen.

  3. Can I easily transfer photos from a Fairphone to a mac mini (= desktop computer)?

Thanks for any valuable help

About question 1: That depends on the virtual keyboard you are using. For instance the Google Gboard supports multiple languages at the same time. When trying it will do its best to detect which language is used currently but you can easily switch between the previously configured languages (mainly for different layouts). That keyboard also supports voice input. I have barely ever used that because while this might be more comfortable than having to swipe all words into the phone I wouldn’t be able to talk to the phone in most situations. But in general in works, others may have more experiences with that.

For the other questions I also hope that others can provide more input. Transferring photos should be pretty easy, even with a Mac. When using a standard Google setup, the phone can store photos in the Google cloud and you can easily access them via Google photos in every browser on every system.

Ohh, so much Google in this post…


Just an extra to 1. Answer: Futo voice input (THE google alternative speech to text) do the switching of languages with a nice little pop up before starting the recording and works where you can use your keyboard (so almost everywhere)./

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Dear Martin,

Thanks for your quick answer.

Maybe I wasn’t clear enough, or maybe I misunderstand you, because I can’t see (or better understand) what Google has to do with it.

So i try anew with extra details:

I have a very old GDM (ii.e. NO smartphone, just a plain old GSM which can only PHONE and TEXT (= SMS).

I intend to buy a Fairphone, which would be a totally new world to me. when I see others use a smartphone, it looks extraterrestrial to me. They type so quick and don’t stop scrolling/¿swiping?!! (it seems the average of scrolling a day is 200m … so that’s ON AVERAGE!!!)

OK back to my first issue: I just want to SPEAK my texting (= SMS) messages. Texting (or SMS° does NOT involve internet (that why I can sue it on GSM), so I don’t see the relation with Google.

When I speak of a keyboard, I mean the keyboard which appears on the Screen of the smartphone, and where people type words like crazy… most of their day.

As explained, I want to AVOID having to type (on whatever keyboard, virtual or not, that is). I want be able to SPEAK the text I want to sea appear on the screen.

So having no experience whatsoever with Android (I just know this is the name of the OS of the Fairphone), nor with how to use it, my first question is simple:

Q1. Can I SPEAK the SMS I want to “write”. If so how?

Idem for switching languages. Today I mostly (88%) write in abbreviated phonetic French . Sometimes I communicate with English people (±10%) and at others with Flemish (2%).

Q2. Can I quickly (with one or 2 clicks?) change the content of the text I gonna speak WITHOUT changing the interface? If so how?

PS: I always use English for each and every interface.

Hope this is more clear now.

Thanks also for the fact I would be able to copy photos from the Fairphone to my max but… HOW?!??

Where to click or what to do?

Have a nice day

Dear Furdiburd,

OK, I think I start to understand, knowing (or believing) you need an app for almost anything.

Q1a) So, is “Futo voice input” an app?

Q1b) Or, if not, how can I activate it?

Q2. And I s I guess there are no manuals with comes along with the Fairphone, what’s your advice to start leaning a smartphone, in this case a real FairPhone?

Thank you for your time and answers

ohhh i saw that you dont want to use internet! then futp voice is perfect cuz it works offline.

  1. yes futo voice is an app you need to download, after installing it tells you everything you need to set it up
  2. well… i learnt it by trial and error so i dont realy have any kind of guide for you. the best i could tell is just to search up the problem in a browser but that will be hard to get used to, so in short: i cant realy help.
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The keyboard on the phone is usually Google assisted. That’s why Google has been mentioned.

I haven’t heard about the book/manual for android.
My advice will be to check some of the tutorials on getting started published on Fairphone website, alternatively, which I guess, might not be your preference, search for any specific query online, I usually do that.
Good luck

  1. in Settings/System/Languages & Input/Voice input
    you can add multiple languages which is downloaded to device for offline use
    also in Settings/System/Languages & Input/On-Screen keyboard/Google Voice Typing (tap on left for config)
    is Voice Typing Language/Languages

  2. not sure if work also for speach input, but if is selected more keyboard language,
    then can be switch with holding space bar
    microphone icon for voice typing can be enabled in showed keyboard, Gear icon

  3. not sure if work with macOS, but in general:
    if you connect phone via usb cable, in notification (you show it with swipe frop top of screen to down) is show “Charging this device via USB”
    after tap on it is show menu where select “Use USB for: File Transfer”


Dear k3dAR,

Thank you for your 3 answers BUT… the second one makes me afraid. Can you test this for me? Or do you know someone who can?

I really need this option (due to a disability).

Thank you for everything you can do, to confirm or infirm, if automatic SMS writing is possible via VOICE/SPEACH INPUT/COMMAND.

And whatever the answer : I wish you all the best for 2024!

@Sono I did some tests with my Gboard - google assisted keyboard. I am using mainly two languages: Polish and English. It was possible for the app to recognize both.
The quality of voice input varied, sometimes it was not possible to get the exact word I wanted, perhaps my accent was flawed;-) sometimes it was necessary to stop recording in order for the app to recognize a second language. Finally the voice recognition seemed to work better when using a bluetooth headset than when just holding a phone.
I would say you coud try to get hold of some other Android phone, test it in the shop or ask a FP angel for help so you can test it in person.


By the way, if you’re unfamiliar with smartphones, you might like to know that there’s also the option to swipe words. You just swipe your finger from letter to letter and it will usually guess correctly which word you want. If not, you can pick alternatives. It’s easy and fast, a lot better than typing the individual letters.

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Yes, I remember seeing someone doing this… 5 years ago. Wonderful. Thank you for having me pop-up this memory. Next Tuesday, the 2nd of January I’ll will receive my Fairphone 5! Yiepie!
I also submitted a request to Fairphone itself:
Your products are very good, so why don’t you offer a decent cover, sleeve, protection case? One which is in rubber, and not in plastic.
About this site: isn’t there a way to get a MAIL to be informed someone replied to one of my questions?
Thank for your answers and have a marvellous end-of-year and an inspiring 2024 :slight_smile:

For the notifications, please see under preferences and emails
For the alternative case options feel free to check the options discussed here

Fairphone 5 Protective Case - needed/Alternatives?

hope you will enjoy your FP5


Thank you, in the meantime I got some experience.
Swiping is fantastic! It’s one of the best AI features I’ve seen, knowing the immensity of possibilities and that almost every word it suggest it correct.
As I start using it today and still used to voice-to-text, I mostly start with the latter and switch to swiping when it picks up the wrong language… which unfortunately happens a lot. Who can I contact to tell the to use the voice chosen (on the keyboard) by the globe left of the space bar? The recognition module never seems aware of that choice!