Dictation in Shortcuts Removing Some Text

Hi all! I need help figuring out why Siri is dropping words from dictation inputs.

I have a number of shortcuts that ask for me to dictate text. A very simplified proof of concept is in the screenshot. My shortcuts have been working well until fairly recently, but now the dictation steps have started dropping text. For example, if I say, “Do the dishes,” Siri thinks I said just, “Dishes.” If I say, “Figure out what’s going on with X,” it thinks I said, “Going on with X.” It’s like it drops any leading “commands” in my input.

I’ve tried resetting Siri, restarting my phone, etc., and I have no idea what’s going on with this shortcut. Any ideas? Is this just a bug?

iOS is clearly interesting my input as text if I run the shortcut directly (from the Shortcuts app, for example) but as a command if I start the shortcut with Siri. Below are screenshots of both scenarios.

I would assume that the Shortcuts dictation step is not a activating when you think it does. I don’t tend to use Siri to run shortcut as for me it so rarely recognises a shortcut by name that I want to run.

A couple of suggestions.

First, add an audio cue before the dictation step so you know when that step begins - I assume there isn’t any explicit cue for that step when triggering from Siri.

Second, is there any change in behaviour if you trigger the Shortcut by typing to Siri rather than voice activating?

Hi sylumer!

I’m confident the dictation step is actually being invoked.

The example I posted is a very stripped-down proof of concept. The shortcuts I actually use day-to-day are more complex and have audio cues before the dictation steps. The problem is that the output from those dictation steps is consistently missing any leading command-like language.

It works perfectly if I replace the dictation step by an “ask for text” step and type instead of dictating. But the only reason the shortcuts in question exist is that I need to be able to dictate certain information while driving or otherwise hands-free.

My main use case is for creating tasks and reminders for myself while driving, so nearly all of the dictated text sounds like a command. I can handle it if “do the dishes” becomes “dishes,” but most reminders affected by this end up too vague to be useful later.

So you have ruled out any other option for non-capture over truncation then?

Have you determined length in time or words for truncation?

So you tested the stripped down version and confirmed the identical behaviour?

The test I suggested was for triggering the Shortcut, not capturing the dictation.

I’m trying to suggest debugging avenues that could potentially yield insights that might then help in creating a workaround. An alternative is you file the issue with Apple.

I’ve ruled out any other reasons. The dictation works just fine if my first word or phrase doesn’t sound like a command. If it does, the text gets deleted. You can see in this screenshot that Siri is actually transcribing the text correctly, but the text that’s passed to the next step of the shortcut is missing the first part of what I said.

Yes. I’ve tested identical phrases in my real shortcuts and the simplified one, with identical results.

Ah, sorry. I tried triggering the shortcut with “type to Siri” turned on, then dictated some text in that way, but it still strips command-like language.

I do appreciate the help. I’m just trying to eliminate any possibilities like a bad setting or something before giving up on it as a bug. It’s breaking my daily workflows pretty badly right now.

Okay, so that one confirms it is Siri truncation and that no delay or prompts are going to resolve it in that the verbal trigger is not responsible.

The screenshot though is pretty damning as to the behaviour and to me is the clincher. I don’t see anyw ay around it as that is failing within a step rather than between or as a result of a previous step.

Apparently, whatever this was was fixed in iOS 16.3! Just updated a moment ago and am no longer having this issue. :raised_hands:

Thanks for the assistance, @sylumer!

Did you insert the commas in the first sentence?

I’m wondering about the grammar choices. Yours or Dictation’s?

(I’m not quibbling unless it turns out Dictation did it. Which would be interesting.)

Hi Martin. I’m not sure which sentence you meant?

It was the first sentence in the dictated text: “This is the story of Hansel and Gretel, …”

Ah, no. I didn’t dictate that at all; that was what Siri did when I tried to dictate the words, “Tell me a story.”

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So this was neither your grammar nor Siri’s - but canned text.

That or Apple is using something like ChatGPT to handle certain commands.

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