If you’ve ever wanted to send text messages with weird punctuation like someone who is new to thumb-typing, Google has apparently updated its voice-to-text settings to do it for you, Android Police reports. Google’s voice typing used to only add punctuation when the speaker asked for it specifically (by saying “comma” or “period,” etc.), but after an update last month, the app is now adding punctuation automatically. And judging by the 400-plus comments on a support forum post, it’s not working well.
The complaints indicate that if you pause too long while speaking into your phone, you may end up with a random period in the middle of a sentence or weird capitalization when the app thinks you’re starting a new sentence. An example from the support forum:
Android Police has a theory that Google was attempting to make voice typing as accurate as its Google Recorder transcription app, and this new feature may have been rolled out before it was ready. The Verge has reached out to Google for comment and will update if we hear back.
Gboard dictation doesn’t appear to be affected, Android Police found; the “fix” seems to be confined to Google’s voice typing mode, which doesn’t have an on-screen keyboard connected to it.
You can’t turn off the automatically added punctuation. But if you’re really determined to kill this feature, there is a workaround: uninstall all updates for the Google app on your phone. Which isn’t. Very. Convenient but at least. Your sentences won’t look Like. This.