nuance

Is there an alternative to Dragon Naturally Speaking?

Dictation

Episode 1551

Chuck from Rochester, NY

Chuck is using Dragon Naturally Speaking on the Mac, but he just found out that Dragon is discontinuing support for Mac. What are his alternatives? Leo says that Windows and Mac both have voice recognition and dictation now, so it may be that they discontinued it because the market is drying up. Google is also doing this. Sadly, it won't have nearly as many voice features as Dragon did. One thing he could do is use the Windows version and dual boot his Mac as a Windows machine using BootCamp.

What's a good scanner for documents?

Epson WorkForce ES-500W

Episode 1528

Joseph from Holden, MA

Joseph wants to know what scanners and OCR software is the most accurate. Leo says that optical character recognition software has made great strides, but it isn't perfect. It still has issues with tiny letters and handwriting. If he's looking for a perfect copy of a text, it's not really going to give him a letter for letter identification. But it will be close. Nuance makes the best software out there.

How do computers translate text to voice and vice versa?

Episode 1264

Charlie from La Canada Flintridge, CA

Charlie has a Samsung mobile phone and he's amazed with its accessibility features that read text aloud. How does that work? Leo says that Samsung uses their own voice dictation called S Voice and Google has their own voice dictation service that is quite good. Samsung uses Nuance, which has been in this game for decades with Dragon Dictate. It used to be a real challenge, but Leo says that thanks to Nuance and Google, voice dictation is light years better now. Leo also says that with Amazon Echo, it's even more advanced.

What's the best voice dictation app?

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Episode 1145

Dan from Indianapolis, IN

Dan would like a good voice dictation app. Leo says that Google, Microsoft, and Apple all have speech detection in its phones, and Google has it on Chrome OS too. So if he has a cell phone, he can do it, and it's about 90% accurate.

Nuance makes an app called Dragon Naturally Speaking, and it's really the best app out there for it. Yahoo Tech writer David Pogue uses it to write his indexes.

How can I suggest features to Dragon Naturally Speaking?

Episode 1036

Neil from Brea, CA

Neil has been using Dragon Naturally Speaking because he's visually impaired, but he would like to see them make improvements. Leo says that Nuance bought Naturally Speaking, and just about every other competitor. Because of their dominance, Leo doesn't think they really care what they can do to improve it. The best he can do is write them.

Voice translation of the English language is no easy task. Google is doing some serious work, as are others, especially in China. So it won't be long before Nuance gets left in the dust anyway.