Nuance offers a free (for now) Dragon dictation application designed to give users hands-free texting from their Apple iPhones.
Speech and imaging solutions company Nuance Communication announced its
Dragon Dictation application is now available for free (for a limited time) via
Apple's App Store for the iPhone. The app allows iPhone users to speak e-mails
and text messages instead of typing them, and it also works with the iPhone
clipboard, allowing users to speak and paste messages into their other apps,
including Facebook and Twitter.
With the Dragon Dictation App, spoken words are transcribed using Dragon
NaturallySpeaking speech recognition technology, and the app allows users to
speak anything from a one-line text message or status update for Facebook to a
"Dragon Dictation takes the messaging experience on the revolutionary iPhone
to a whole new level," said Michael Thompson, senior vice president and general
manager of Nuance Mobile. "Dragon Dictation is also incredibly natural and
intuitive. Users will soon find they're speaking more than typing using the
power of speech to communicate even faster whatever they're doing and wherever
The application, once installed, operates by tapping a red recording button
in the middle of the screen to initiate voice recognition process. While the
application is recording, the user speaks a message. Users tap the "Done"
button at the bottom of the screen when finished speaking. Users can always tap
the red recording button again to dictate additional texts, which the company
claims records up to five times faster than typing.
To edit transcribed text, users tap the word they would like to correct.
When touching the word, users will see a drop-down list of alternative
suggestions. To correct a phrase, drag a finger to adjacent words until the
entire phrase is highlighted. If one prefers, one can record a new phrase by
pressing the red record icon while the original phrase is highlighted. The
phrase will be replaced with the new phrase the user speaks. In addition to
composing messages by voice, Dragon Dictation provides the ability for users to
either enter new text or edit text they have dictated. To type, tap the
keyboard icon on the lower left of the screen.
The company also created a blog to announce the launch of the app and
address concerns and updates, including a concern about what the Dragon
Dictation for the iPhone does with users' contact information.
"As you may have experienced already, Dragon Dictation for the iPhone goes
through your contact list on your iPhone and uploads the names to our server.
We do this for a pretty simple reason: We found that people are often dictating
names from their address book and expect the names to be recognized," Thompson
wrote. "Even though there is no personally identifying information, we still
treat all of this information with the highest privacy standards. All of our
servers are located in the United States
and meet the most stringent privacy and security standards. We conform to these
high standards because we use the same data centers for other areas of our
business where we are required to store personal information."