Go Hands-Free on Your Mac with Dragon Dictate 2.5

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nuance. All opinions are 100% mine.

I use the Dragon Dictation feature on my myTouch 4G phone almost daily and I’ve used Dragon NaturallySpeaking on Windows for years. Speaking to my computer gives my hands a break from typing the 10,000-20,000 words I normally tap out over the course of a day. Until recently, I hadn’t tried Dragon Dictate on my Mac, but like the other Dragon products I’ve come to rely on, Dragon Dictate 2.5 works great too.

Dragon DictateAfter going through the introductory process of training Dragon Dictate to my voice, which took about five or six minutes, I was converting speech to text on my Mac in a matter of minutes. One key addition to Dragon Dictate 2.5 is the ability to both talk and type in Microsoft Word 2011. There are also a bunch of Word specific voice commands.

The ability to navigate Mac OS X with voice commands gives the operating system a very Star Trek-like feel. I can almost imagine myself as Captain Picard saying, “Computer, open GarageBand.” Maybe Picard never said that, but if the Enterprise had been designed by Steve Jobs, I’m sure he would have.

For those of us who use social media daily, Dragon Dictate 2.5 added Facebook and Twitter voice commands. You can post to Facebook or post to Twitter by selecting dictated text and simply saying ‘Post to Facebook’ or ‘Post to Twitter’ which can definitely save time over switching windows and typing or copying and pasting.

One of the coolest features of Dragon Dictate 2.5 (and Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5) is the Dragon Remote Microphone app for iPhone users. With a Wi-Fi connection and the Dragon software installed on your desktop computer, you can talk to your iPhone and have the voice transmission sent directly to your Mac. As I indicated earlier, I’m an Android user, so I’m out of luck for right now, but for the millions who do have an iPhone, this feature seems invaluable. Talking to my phone definitely feels more natural than using a microphone connected to my computer.

If you are looking for a way to type less and still be productive, Dragon Dictate will definitely get the job done on your Mac.

  • Bitterbluez

    I have been using Dragon since it came out for Windows 3.11.  Although Windows Vista has a reasonably good voice recognition system built in, I have continued to use Dragon Preferred 4, 6 and 10 and have noticed the wonderful improvements since version 1.  I’m looking forward to 11.5, as soon as I can take it off my wife’s “NO-buy list” lol.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZZTUZNSVI3TSPKVNGPP4ZPYZCY Kyle

    Is the voice recognition system reliable?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZZTUZNSVI3TSPKVNGPP4ZPYZCY Kyle

    Is the voice recognition system reliable?

  • Bitterbluez

    Version 4 was about 90 to 95% accurate, but if I had a cold it would get worse to the point that it could get frustrating.  Version 10 is almost perfect even with minimal “training”.  The program has standard text that you read to it so it “learns” your voice.  You can even use your own typical text documents so that it picks up specialized words that you may use in your work.  My cousin is a surgeon so she actually purchased the Medical Dictionary containing specialized terminology.   The latest versions even have context correction so that if you use a word that sounds like another, it will use the one that suits the context.  It’s cool to watch the program type the words as you speak them and then correct them as you go further into your sentence.  The latest versions even have control command interfacing so that you don’t have to touch the keyboard to move from one application to another.

    OK so the above applies to Dragon.  The voice recognition that comes with Windows is quite nice too.  Just go into your “Control Panel”, look for the microphone logo with the caption “Speech Recognition” and try it out.  Nothing quite like playing with something hands-on to see what it can do.  Remember you should have a decent remote mike (not the built-in as it picks up drive noise) and you should turn off the tv (or whatever background) to reduce sporadic noise.

    Enjoy…