Nuance has fashioned this app to process the Dragon naturally speaking process through the cloud.Assuming that an internet connection is present, getting started with dictation is a very simple process. Once the app is opened, it establishes the presence of a suitable internet connection before displaying the “Tap and Dictate” command on the screen. A small “Speak Here” icon appears to guide users to speak towards the iPad’s mic before fading from view. There is also a small help icon in the screen’s lower right corner in case assistance is needed. Once a user taps the dictate button, the naturally speaking and voice recognition process may begin.
There is a small learning curve for users to master the dictation process, but it’s simple and quite easy, especially when compared to the more elaborate desktop versions of Nuance’s dictation software. Speaking at a natural pace while making an effort to enunciate the words much like a newscaster would provides the best results. Adding a small pause can also help to keep the dictation flow running smoothly, especially given that a lot of the process happens over the cloud and long strings of speech require buffering.
In order to enter punctuation, a user must use punctuation commands like “comma” or “period” at the proper places. It’s easy to forget to use these commands at first but with little bit of practice it becomes more second nature. Deleting and editing sentences requires launching the iPad virtual keyboard to manually make changes. Tapping the screen again stops the dictation process.
Users can easily access or their previously recorded transcriptions with creation date/time info by accessing the “Notes” section in the upper-left corner of the user interface. This opens a drop-down menu for easy access to all these stored dictations. By tapping on any one of them, the note is automatically opened in “edit” mode where the virtual keyboard is displayed for easy editing. From here, notes can easily be emailed to friends or shared through social networking accounts like Facebook or Twitter, another reason Dragon Dictation is a great app for iPad. They can also be deleted from here.
Of course, with the release of the new iPad, dictation is built into the operating system for system wide access. Users access it by bringing up the virtual keyboard and tapping the microphone button. This makes it pretty much accessible anywhere, and it’s nice to be able to dictate directly into whichever app is being used without having to switch back to Dragon Dictation. Unlike Dragon Dictation, Apple's dictation feature specifically requires a Wi-fi connection, making it less flexible for on-the-go use. On the other hand, it does not require the user to enter in punctation verbally and seems better at working with longer sentences in certain instances.
Another similar business iPad app is Vlingo which offers verbal dictation as well as verbal commands. Users can search the web with “Search”, “Voice Dial” to start a phone call, “Facebook update” for social media access. Of course, “Text” or “Email” verbal commands initiate the respective feature.
Nuance's strong commitment to dictation software and their long-established experience in this field guarantees that their Dragon Dictation for iPad will continue growing in features and support. By the entrance of Apple's Siri-lite dictation feature on the new iPad and Vlingo's inclusion of verbal commands support, look for Dragon Dictation push expectation like it always does.