Many people believe that with the release of iOS 5 voice recognition maybe integrated into the iPhone. That we will finally see the results of the Siri purchase. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but it will be hard to do better the Dragon Go by Nuance. In fact Nuance recently updated their Dragon Go application for the iPhone to make even more useful. The Dragon Go application allows you to do search and initiate applications with your voice on you iPhone. You can do basic search by saying a single word like coffee, or phrases like “find me the nearest coffee shop”. Safari will open up and show you where the nearest coffee shops are on Google Maps or show you information about coffee on Wikipedia. Say “photos of coffee” and images of coffee will show up. Nuance has created one of the best voice recognition software there is, It has been doing simple search for awhile and is good at it.
The update they released today Sept 29, integrates other applications on iPhone into the search results. For example if I say Lady Gaga, the icons for Pandora, Spotify and Last.FM pull up. If I say “play Born this Way on Spotify” Spotify initiates and Born this Way starts to play. If you say a name of a movie one of the options you are given is Netflix, click on it and the movie will start up. You do have to be signed into Netflix for this to work. When it works, the updated version of Dragon Go is amazing. When it doesn’t work it can be very frustrating. You do have to train it to make it work well and that takes some time and practice. It does offer some tips and tricks under it’s help menu. In order for it to work with an application that application has to be integrated with Dragon Go. These apps include iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Last FM, Netflix and Yelp. You also have to have the applications installed. Voice recognition software still has a ways to go, before it becomes mainstream but it is definitely getting better. Looking forward to how it works under iOS 5.
I have had Dragon Dictation on my Iphone for about a week now and have started to use it more and more. Dragon Dictation is made by Nuance Communication which also created Dragon Naturally Speaking, Jott Assistant, Jott for Salesforce and MacSpeech among other products. Nuance Communication is actually fairly new to the Apple market, they started as a PC product with Dragon Naturally Speaking. They launched Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search shortly after the Iphone came out. In February 2010 they purchased MacSpeech. I downloaded Dragon Dictation for the Iphone, because I was looking for a way to put text into the Iphone without having to use the keyboard.
Dragon Dictation fits my need very well. The first time you open the application up, it will ask you for permission to scan your address book for names. If you give it permission it will remember the names only, no addresses or phone number. If you change your mind later, you can go in settings and revoke the permission. While in the settings menu, you can also decide if you want to have Dragon Dictate automatically recognize the end of sentences which is how it is by default. If you do it manually you have to say period at the end of each sentence, which does take some getting use too. Dragon Dictation also recognizes other common punctuation, such as commas, question marks, and the at sign just to name a few. It also recognizes commands such as new paragraph and new line. It works best in a quiet room or by using headphones with a microphone. You can do it by using the Iphone internal microphone, but the results are not as good. You want to speak clearly and in your normal voice, it will learn from you overtime. I found it works best when you speak in short bites. Then stop let it translate and then dictate some more. It does not like non dictionary words, such as Boxee, which became Boxy. I did notice that the first time I used the word Mac, it interpreted it as Max, but after I corrected it the next time I said the word it interpreted it correctly. If you get an error, there are a couple of ways to correct it. The first is too highlight the word that is wrong and in a drop down menu it will give some possible substitutions. The second is to use the keyboard that comes with the program and correct it that way. Finally you can highlight the word or phrase and record right over it with the correction.
Once you have done the dictation, you have the option of sending it directly to Twitter or Facebook from with in the application. It does have the option of emailing or texting the information, however you have to enter the email or text address in manually. Finally you can copy what your results and paste them into any other Iphone application you want. It would be nice if this application was integrated right within the Iphone , so that you could use the capability within any application. Until that becomes available, this maybe the next best thing. Dragon Dictation is free and is available for both the Iphone and the Ipad.
Received a e-mail tonight that Jamie and Shaula are the winners of the copies of Dragon Naturally Speaking e-mails sent off to both of them. Thanks for everyones participation.
I am pretty excited about giving away two copies of this program, if you want a chance to win a copy jump over to the link blog. Act fast the link is up only a couple of days.
Disclaimer: They provided me a copy of the program as well which I already have and will be giving it away in an upcoming podcast.