Using Dragon Dictation on the iPad 2 with a Bluetooth headset

Summary:There is no easier way to enter text on a mobile device than by speech. Using Dragon Dictation with a Bluetooth headset may be the fastest entry method.

I'm enjoying the fine weather working on my back patio with the iPad 2 and a Bluetooth keyboard. Actually, I'm not using the Bluetooth keyboard, I am using Dragon Dictation on the iPad 2 along with my Jabra Bluetooth headset to dictate into the iPad. Dragon Dictation makes it possible to input text simply by the speaking directly into the iPad, or in this case the Bluetooth headset.

The accuracy is very good, and I find very few errors in the conversion of my speech to text. It's uncanny how good Dragon Dictation is, even handling proper names. It does this by scanning the user's contact list to learn who might be referred to in spoken text entry.

It would be very useful if Dragon Dictation allowed me to dictate directly into other apps, but unfortunately it is restricted to dictating into the internal Dragon Dictation app. That's not quite as convenient as it requires copying and pasting the text into other apps as desired.

While I can't see myself dictating a large volume of text using this method, it is accurate enough and convenient enough to do it occasionally. I really do like using it and with the Bluetooth headset it is quite accurate as it eliminates virtually all background noise.

Dragon Dictation doesn't allow for editing text on the fly, that must be done later using whatever app is the eventual home for the dictated text. Otherwise it works pretty well if you just sit down and dictate text you want to record and let Dragon Dictation input it for you. Once you develop a rhythm using this method it may be the fastest way to enter text into the iPad or other mobile device.

I do find the Siri dictation on the iPhone 4S to be more accurate than Dragon Dictation, but until Apple chooses to put that on the iPad this will have to do.

Note that even while I am using it on the iPad, the free Dragon Dictation is available on other platforms and devices. This article was written entirely using it on the iPad, with error correction performed manually in the editor prior to publication.

Topics: Hardware, iPad, Mobility


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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