Dragon Professional for Individual v15: A capable voice interface for your PC
The voice interface has seen a growing adoption across platforms in recent times. With voice assistants and voice-controlled home appliances on smartphones all around us, the lack of a single interface on a computer, from where it started, seems a bit obvious in everyday computing. Nuance Dragon, a speech recognition software package offered by Nuance, is a great tool to change that and the version we will talk about today is Dragon Professional, v15.
The Dragon Voice Recognition software works quite well, considering that this entire review was typed by Srutimudhur. Although some of us may have tried dictation software before, very few people actually use it on a daily basis due to productivity. One of the main reasons that dictation software finds fewer buyers is that some people believe that it is easier to hit the keyboard than to find out all the commands and shortcuts you need to know to make dictation software work. Dragon Voice Recognition software is quite easy to set up with a short paragraph to identify your voice profile. Once you have done this, you will be instructed shortly. For example, we used this software for only 15 minutes, before we started with the full diction. That being said, giving it more training will only improve accuracy, it will do something with continued use.
The application asks your pronunciation during installation and considers it during training
Although a part of text dictating, using commands is a completely different ball game. While some of them are intuitive, some may come across as a little harder to master. For example, when you open Chrome or any other web browser while Dragon Voice Recognition is active, you will be prompted to install a browser extension which will be completed shortly. After that, you can actually use the command to browse the web. Examples of such commands are “new tab”, “www.reddit.com”, “close this tab” and many more. It has some features and capabilities that you will not find in Android with standard voice input. For example, when we were in Gmail, just saying ‘compose’ would open a new mail and certain commands like ‘go to body’, ‘go to subject’ could be used. This is something you can’t do with Android voice input or a similar voice input interface.
Minimizes the toolbar when not highlighted
The actual experience with the command is a mixed bag, sometimes depending on which application you are in. Chrome commands, for example, are fairly easy to detect, but pointing them to OneNote is a pain. An extra box is provided to point you out as a note does not allow direct melody. Then you need to press the transfer button to transfer your directed text to the app. In our use, the term “OneNote” itself was very difficult to identify, which is ironic in a dictation software aimed at the desktop. Another problem with using File Explorer is identifying and interacting with file names.
You will often find that your commands are being identified as text when the cursor is in the textbox. In such a situation, it is very difficult for the app to perform the desired action without clicking on a button of your choice or pointing to the text. On the other hand, the command detection indicated for the Dragon interface is almost flawless.
Like the command, the dictation of the dragon professional has its ups and downs. Although the actual soundtrack is fairly accurate, it is your interaction with the directed text that creates some of the problems. Often you will notice an extra space or an extra time in your melodic course. Also, the ‘scratch that’ command often removes an extra character. When formatting your directed text, the app tends to not recognize a word that you just pointed out in the text.
You can even configure Dragon to learn from your email
This app is intended for use in the office environment. Therefore, it is strange that it does not allow even the slightest degree of noise. Although common words like air conditioning do not interfere with dictation, talking to people around you will significantly affect the accuracy of your dictation.
Autotext lets you set a word to be replaced by a predefined text
On the other hand, you also have many additional options to help your experience with melody. For example, the “Edit Vocabulary” command opens a window where you can search for many spoken forms that are difficult to determine letters and phrases like. The same window allows you to add words to your vocabulary by typing a phrase or type, and then proceed to train the software on its pronunciation. You can also remove words from your vocabulary if the software confuses what you are saying with that word to offer.
Another very interesting feature of the software is the transcription feature. You can find it on the Floating Dragon Bar Tools menu, labeled “Recording Copy”. Using this feature, you can actually create a rich text file for your previously recorded dictation and interviews. Although the recorded file may show a significant number of errors if not properly formatted with proper commands, it is certainly better than listening to and copying hourly recordings.
Transcription is also a feature of the application
So to be fair we did not use other dedicated voice commands and dictation software. So, in search of competition, a direct alternative that comes to mind is Google Docs Voice Typing Tool. From an early stage of using the voice typing tool we noticed that it was easy to use. Although the available commands were limited to dictation, they were much more intuitive, such as ‘select the last letter’, ‘go to the end of the line’, and so on. Although the Dragon offers the same, it is much more likely to identify it as text. Compared to Dragon Voice Recognition, the Google tool was less accurate but faster in detection. Also, the Google dictation tool is confined to the Google suite of products where Dragon can be used with almost anything.
Another point where the Google tool scores on top of the Dragon Voice Recognition tool is noise handling. Although Dragon Voice Recognition tells you to repeat what you don’t understand, the Google tool is more likely to convert your hearing into partially correct sentences or phrases. Overall, if you have to make a choice between the two, the Google tool is definitely available for free and is a good choice if you have what you need and you don’t mind the second round of proofreading of your dictation. Finished. Dragon, on the other hand, offers a more accurate and reliable alternative though at a price.
Although dictation is not something that many of us have to do on a daily basis, we have found that interfaces are increasingly adapting to alternative methods of input, such as voice and gestures. So soon you will be looking at a computer designed with the voice interface in mind. Dragon Voice Recognition takes some big steps to bring that future closer, especially to those of us who can use a dictation tool to get things done faster. And while Dragon Voice Recognition, as a dictation and command tool, is not perfect, it accomplishes the task with fewer errors and more features we have seen before.