Nuance Communications, the speech-technology outfit behind the Dragon NaturallySpeaking range of products for PCs – and more recently Macs – has launched two apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via Apple’s Australian App Store.
There’s Dragon Dictation, which lets you dictate the words you want to enter in SMS messages, e-mails or social media messages like Twitter, and magically turns them into text.
Then there’s Dragon Search which allow users to speak search queries on Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia or iTunes, among several others and get a response within seconds.
Both are free, at least for the time being. They have previously been available on the US App Store, but not in Australia, presumably because work needed to be done on recognising Aussie accents. Dragon recognises US, UK and Canadian English as well as French, Spanish and German.
The translating isn’t done on your iPhone: it’s server based, but results come surprisingly quickly, if not always totally accurately. Stuart Sharpe, Asia-Pac senior director at Nuance, advises doing one sentence at a time – it’s still five times faster than typing on a mini touchpad, he reckons.