Free voice-to-text app for iPhone works a treat!

Mar 23, 2011 10 Comments by

Have you come across a new tool and thought, “Wow, this is so good I just need to share this with other people?”

That’s what happened to me on Saturday morning when I discovered Dragon Dictation.

In fact, I’m using it right now for dictating this quick blog post.

It’s a free app for the iPhone and it’s one that can greatly increase your productivity.

Especially if  like me, you find it easier to talk than go tapping into a tinsy little keyboard on the iPhone when you’re creating a message.

Actually, it’s not such a ‘new’ tool now as the app has been around since 2009. The company behind it has also been around for a long time.

But it was new to me on Saturday and after testing it, I just had to tell a few people about it.

It’s smart – and it’s great for increasing productivity.
You see, with this app you no longer have to type.

You just talk and your voice is recorded and then processed from voice to text.

You then have the opportunity to correct any words that need to be corrected, which for most of my messages was minimal – one or two words and a bit of punctuation.

Then you can SMS or email the message – or do other stuff like upload it to Facebook or Twitter.

It’s not often I get excited by new tools. And when I do, it’s seldom about the technology, but rather what the tool can do for you.

I’ve tested and used other voice-to-text software over the years and some are crap. Not Dragon Dictation. It’s clever.

Dragon Dictation is from the same people who have made dictation software for many years. I first came across DragonDictate back in the 1990s when I was writing a book and tried to get clever with clever software.

The DragonDictate software wasn’t so good back then and it took a long time not to learn the vagaries of my voice. This software now is very, very good and I’m happy to say I now use it and recommend it. It’s great value for money, especially as it is free!

So, check out Dragon Dictation app for the iPhone.

Oh yeah, I’ve also just found out that back in January 2011 the company behind it (Nuance) released FlexT9, an app for Android phones which combines Dragon Dictation voice input, Swype-like swiping, a standard keyboard and a handwriting recognizer.  It sells for about $5.  There’s a review on FlexT9  here.

Let me know how it goes for you…

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  1. Richard says:

    Here’s an update: The other day I was pretty keen about this. I’ve since learned that the people behind this free app say this:

    They may “utilize the date in spoken messages collected over time to continuously improve and provide high speech recognition accuracy”.

    So, they keep your data but they say that’s all they’ll use it for.

    Do we trust them? Perhaps we do – blindly and naively. These days needs to be earned not given.

    I’m continuing to look into this – and will let you know if/when i find out more.

    • Missing "vlingo ANYwhere" says:

      For replying and forwarding messAges, what does one use for the iPhone??

      I am new to iPhone and missing the no touch flexibility that lingo had for BB , but seems to NOT have for iPhone

  2. Donnie says:

    nice app but it’s not convenient when you want to reply to a text someone sent you by using voice. you have to switch back and forth between text app and dragon app, to copy and paste. I wish the Iphone text app just had a microphone button to use voice to reply or send text messages. Any ideas anyone?

  3. Peter says:

    can this be used by the ipad2?

  4. Vince says:

    Any update on what Dragon does with our data?

    • Richard Keeves says:

      Hi Vince, yes… and no. I had a fairly detailed series of email conversations with the Dragon people – who started out saying they never store any of the data, and then seemed to admit they do store it on the basis of using it to improve their V-to-t conversion accuracy. So I asked them if they would provide the stored data to law enforcement if requested, and they avoided the question – and then said yes, they would have to. Now, this is not a lot different to Google and other ISPs and hosted service providers who work more closely with law enforcement than most people realize. So, be aware and beware. Hope this helps.

  5. Dan says:

    Dragon probly meant with a subpeona I hope!
    Ya know… There IS no privacy really with ANY of this stuff. If you want privacy, don’t graduate to technology!! Sad but true…….

  6. Nikki says:

    I agree with Dan!!! Nothing is really private these days. If u want true privacy then don’t use technology. I personally think the company should work with law enforcement with or without a subpoena. I don’t want paperwork to get in the way of law enforcement finding out what happened to my loved one. I personally really like the app….and for a mother that is always on the go I think it is PERFECT!!!!!

    • Richard Keeves says:

      You have a point Nikki. Using almost any online technology is going to compromise your privacy. Most of us don’t mind the compromise, and providing info to legitimate law enforcement agencies is typically ok – as long as the laws they are enforcing are not threatening our own freedom.

      I reckon Dragon is generally ok (probably), but I don’t like being overtly shafted by sites like Facebook and others who have a track record of sneakily changing the default privacy settings on the information we provide to make more and more info public by default. What do you think?