During the last couple of years Mac users showed an interest in dictation and speech recognition software. This is due to heavy use of internet and business applications, which means we all spend quite some time in front of a computer typing text. The first trend which gained attraction due to previously mentioned heavy use of keyboard, are specially designed keyboards with improved ergonomics. This was popular during a certain period, bringing nice profits to several 3rd party hardware manufacturers. Another trend, which succeeded specially designed hardware is creation of speech recognition software. This type of software achieved big success and it made possible to use our voice to control our mobile devices, which is something that’s currently very popular.
One of the best speech recognition software is Dragon Dictate, by Nuance Communications. This was Windows exclusive application at first, but it was brought to Mac OS X two years ago. Nuance has recently published the third edition of their Dragon Dictate, which brought many improvements over the previous version, making it one of the best dictation engines right now. It was expected that Dragon Dictate 3 brings some new and exciting features since Apple became a direct competitor by implementing “voice over” technology into Mac OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Dragon Dictate, you actually install voice recognition engine which works with just about any application. This means that you can use it to dictate a text right into a Word or Pages file, to play songs in iTunes and to give voice commands in Safari.
In order to use this software, you’re going to need a microphone. You can use built-in microphone, buy a 3rd party one or you can even buy bundled Dragon Dictate pack which comes with high quality headsets.
Installation is pretty much straight forward, and it takes several minutes to complete. After it’s done, you’ll be asked to go through a tutorial which will explain to you how to use Dragon Dictate. This is when you’ll also need to create a new profile, and read a certain portions of text in order for the new voice recognition engine to learn how to recognize your voice. It works with many accents, so the more you use it, the more accurate this application will become. It is advised to use Interactive Tutorials even further, to go through exercises to practice dictation, recognition, spelling and editing options.
Overall, this is one of the best voice recognition engines available. If you’re a new user, it will take some time to adjust your habits and to fully utilize it in you everyday computing. But when you finally get a hang of it, it will make your job much easier. It’s perfect for writers and for anyone who’s typing a lot of text throughout the day.
Standard version of Dragon Dictate 3 costs $199.99 but there are also less expensive (like Upgrade version and Student/Teacher Edition) as well as several editions which come bundled with Bluetooth headsets.