Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a popular speech-to-text application. With version 10 claiming 99 percent accuracy and version 11 adding a 15 percent improvement to that, there's really nowhere to go in terms of further improving speech recognition accuracy. So what has Nuance done with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 to encourage us to upgrade or buy it for the first time?
The key advances in NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Premium are in mobile device and application support.
Nuance has released a free app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch called Dragon Remote Microphone. This allows you to dictate without a headset — instead, you can use your Apple device (connected to a PC via Wi-Fi) as a microphone. This has value for mobile workers who wish to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking on the road, but don't want to carry a headset. There's currently no similar solution for Android users.
On the software support front, new functionality has been added to help Dragon NaturallySpeaking catch up with updates to the applications it's used with. So, for example, there are new commands for use with Internet Explorer 9 such as "Pin this [web] site/page", which creates an icon for the current web site on the Start menu. Other updated apps with new support include Windows Live Mail 2011 (V15), OpenOffice Writer 3.3, Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
Social media gets a look-in, too. You can say "Post to Facebook" or "Post to Twitter" and even "Tweet", and then dictate the text.
Additional time savers include new commands such as "Quote that" and "Bracket that", which are applied to the last thing you said; you can also use the new commands "Empty Quotes" and "Empty Brackets" if you know you want to put something into quotation marks or brackets before you say it.
There are also some user interface tweaks, such as the ability to alter the width of the sidebar that provides help on commands, and an improved spelling window.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Premium is available now, starting at £149.99 (inc. VAT), and is a free upgrade for current Dragon 11 users.