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Dragon Dictation

Free
Reviewed
June 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Dragon Dictation

Pros
  • Highly accurate
  • Speech recognition improves over time
  • Simple, easy-to-use interface
Cons
  • Internet connection required
  • 30-second buffer slows down dictation
  • No verbal corrections

The Dragon Dictation app (for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) strips away many of the navigational commands and advanced features of its full-fledged brethren, focusing instead on one, single service: translating dictation to text. Reviewers say Dragon Dictation does that thing well, providing extremely fast and accurate dictation translation. The app's simple interface also garners unanimous praise, but there a few downsides to the app. Users won't be able to use Dragon Dictation if they don't have a working Internet connection, which critics consider a potential major flaw. Long-winded users may also be disappointed that they can only dictate for about half a minute at a time before filling the app's buffer. Other voice control apps, such as Vlingo, are available, but none of them ranks as highly as Dragon Dictation does with critics and users alike.

Although no critics perform any direct comparisons – or even formal testing – we were able to find a few fairly thorough standalone reviews. Jeffrey L. Wilson covers the app in detail at PCMag.com, as does Ben Boychuk at Macworld. Both enjoy their experience with the app and rate the Dragon Dictation 4 out of 5 stars. The app also rates well with Macworld's readers, who give the app the same overall score. Spanner Spencer's brief review on KnowYourMobile.com is less comprehensive, but offers keen insight into the tool's ability to handle accents accurately. Victor Marks' write-up at Macnn.com almost seems more like a tutorial than a review, with detailed usage directions accompanied by screenshots, but Marks also lists some issues with the app.

Our Sources

1. PCMag.com

Reviewer Jeffrey L. Wilson kicks off his look at Dragon Dictation by suggesting that the app is the next best thing to having a secretary take dictation from you. One small problem he has with the app is getting used to telling Dragon to insert punctuation, although he takes to it pretty quickly. Wilson doesn't have as much of a problem with the app's 30-second buffer as other reviewers did, but he acknowledges that the program's need for Internet connectivity could be a drawback to some users. In the end, Wilson recommends Dragon Dictation.

Review: Dragon Dictation, Jeffrey L. Wilson, Nov. 2010

2. Macworld

Ben Boychuk opens his article by saying he never found the desktop versions of NaturallySpeaking to be very useful, but he finds merit in the portable version. Dragon Dictation is "simple" to use and accurate, he says, although he finds flaws in the app's reliance on Internet connectivity and its 30-second dictation limit. Boychuk ends up recommending the app, giving Dragon Dictation "four out of five mice." User reviews on the site give the app the same rating.

Review: Dragon Dictation Review, Ben Boychuk, Jan. 2010

3. KnowYourMobile.com

Spanner Spencer enjoys that Dragon Dictation accurately handled his "broad Yorkshire accent," calling the app very responsive. Though he warns that users of Dragon NaturallySpeaking will find the app "seriously simplified," Spanner concludes that it would be "madness" to pass up on Dragon Dictation, especially since it's free.

Review: Dragon Dictation Review, Spanner Spencer, July 2010

4. Macnn.com

Victor Marks spends more time talking about how the app works than critiquing it, and his review is chock full of screenshots. Marks says he likes the app's simplicity as well as the speed with which it captures his thoughts. Negatively, he notes that Dragon Dictation doesn't include an autosave feature and that incoming calls boot the iPhone version out of dictation mode. Nevertheless, he awards the app 4 out of 5 stars.

Review: Review: Dragon Dictation, Victor Marks, May 2010

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