One of the reasons that I bought the new iPad 3 was to check out the dictation feature.
Apple has added a little microphone button beside the spacebar on the standard on-screen keyboard. Now you can dictate messages instead of typing into any app.
This little button is a big deal.
Sure, Dragon NaturallySpeaking has a free Dragon dictation app on the iPad and iPhone, which does voice-recognition, but the Dragon dictation app only lets you speak into the Dragon dictation app. Then, you have to copy and paste your transcribed words into the app that you really wanted to use (i.e. calendar, notes, Twitter, etc.)
With iPad dictation, you can speak into your iPad (in any app) just by touching the microphone button. iPad dictation is only available on the new iPad three. (The little microphone button doesn’t show up on the iPad 2.)
Before we get too far into this post, you should know that your voice data and contact data gets sent to Apple (or potentially, Dragon NaturallySpeaking.)
- If you use iPad dictation, your iPad will send Apple your voice data and other personal information â€œsuch as your first name and nickname; the names, nicknames, and relationship with you (example “my dad”) of your address book contacts; and song names in your collection.â€ Something to think about.
- In comparison, Dragon dictation does send your voice data to their servers, but it you can opt out of sending your contact name data. When you install Dragon dictation on your iPad, you get a screen asking you if it’s okay to add your contact names to the vocabulary. If you click yes, then Dragon will upload your contact names to the server and link it to your device ID. If you click no, then Dragon will not read your address book and it will not upload any names to the server. (You can also go into the Dragon dictation settings and turn off the setting called “recognize names.”)
So how accurate is iPad dictation?
Let’s find out:
- I used Dragon NaturallySpeaking on my computer to dictate this post using Windows Live Writer. Dragon NaturallySpeaking got 98.6% of the words in this post correct.
- Using the rainbow passage to figure out which voice-recognition software is better
- Word mistakes