It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s faster to talk than it is to type. But after decades of tried and failed attempts by several software vendors, Mac OS X is still left without a viable solution in the speech-to-text arena.
If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch though, you’re no longer left out in the cold. And better yet, it won’t cost you a dime!
Nuance has a version of Dragon Dictation for both devices that works superbly. I dictated this article on my iPod Touch using Dragon Dictation with only one minor error.
The only major complaint is that the app has a time limit of 20-seconds on the length of the recording that gets converted into text, making it cumbersome for lengthy speech-to-text conversions.
The app requires a second or third-generation iPod Touch or iPhone with a microphone (Apple’s built-in headphone/mic combo works fine), and an Internet connection (WiFi or 3G works more than adequately, though Edge is a bit slower, obviously). The Internet connection is necessary because the app actually uploads the data to the Nuance servers for the translation.
Dragon Dictation is easy to use, requiring only a tap of a button to do its job
Using Dragon Dictation is easy. You simply hit the Record button and speak. When the recording hits the 20-second mark, or you stop speaking, the app converts the recording to text. If you have a long email or message to dictate, you’ll have to hit the record button again to continue adding to the text. When you’re finished, you can copy the text to the clipboard, send it as a text message or email it.
Dragon Dictation is free, and is available from the iTunes store.