Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 costs anywhere from $99 for the home edition, to several hundred dollars for more premium editions (unless you qualify for the academic student / teacher discount.) In comparison, the iPad and iPhone app for Dragon NaturallySpeaking is free. So, which product is better and more accurate at transcribing speech?
We read the rainbow passage to both the Dragon Dictation iPad app and to our Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 on our computer at the same time to see which application was better. We used the Calisto wireless headset while reading directly into our iPad:
When sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say he is looking for pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Throughout the centuries men have explained the rainbow in various ways. Some have accepted it as a miracle without physical explanation. To the Hebrews it was a token that there would be no more universal floods. The Greeks used to imagine that it was a sign from the gods to foretell war or heavy rain. The Norse men consider the rainbow as a bridge over which the gods passed from Earth to their home in the sky. Other men have tried to explain the phenomena physically. Aristotle thought that the rainbow was caused by reflection of the sun’s rays by the rain. Since then physicists have found that it is not reflection, but refraction by the raindrops which causes the rainbow. Many complicated ideas about the rainbow have been formed. The difference in the rainbow depends considerably upon the size of the water drops, and the width of the colored band increases as the size of the drops increases. The actual primary rainbow observed is said to be the effect of super position of a number of bows. If the red of the second bow falls upon green of the first, the result is to give a bow with an abnormally wide yellow band, since red and green lights when mixed form yellow. This is a very common type of bow, one showing mainly red and yellow, with little or no green or blue.
There are 591 words in the initial draft of this document.
- The Dragon NaturallySpeaking iPad app made 47 word errors – an accuracy of 92% in this document.
- The laptop running Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 made 16 errors – an accuracy of 98% in this document.
It’s impressive that the free Dragon dictation iPad app is so accurate, and we wonder how much the accuracy will improve over time as your iPhone or iPad adapts to your voice. (We’ve been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 for half a year now. When we first used Dragon NaturallySpeaking with a brand-new user profile, we had an accuracy of 97.6% when we read the Dragon passage – not including punctuation and capitalization errors.)
The difference between an accuracy of 92% with the iPad app and 98% with the computer version doesn’t seem like much of a difference. But if you’re writing an essay with 1000 words, then you would have to correct 80 words if you were speaking into your iPad or iPhone app, but only 20 words if you used Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 on your computer.
Still, for those of us who have difficulty typing on the keyboard of an iPad (or iPhone), then Dragon Dictation is a great app to help you produce content on your iPad. You can easily copy or email your transcribed words. You can also set up the app to connect directly with your facebook or twitter account.
The next biggest difference we could see between the Dragon Dictation app and our computer was that Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 transcribed words much quicker than the iPad app.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking is certainly faster on the laptop than on the iPad. Sentences would start to appear as we spoke on the computer version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, while we would have to wait for the very end to see our sentences appear on the iPad app. In fact, during the second paragraph of the rainbow passage, the iPad app simply stopped listening and instead started to transcribe but we had said, even though we weren’t finished reading.
This quick test was conducted using an iPad 2 with the latest updates (iOS 4.3.3) and no applications running in the background. In comparison, the laptop was running Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium wireless edition, on an dIntel core two duo CPU P8700 at 2.53 GHz with 1.87 gigs of RAM.
Of course, there are other differences between the iPad app and the computer version, but hopefully this quick comparison will help you to make a decision about which Dragon product is right for you.
|This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Wireless.
In comparison, the Dragon Dictation iPad app made 47 word errors. So, we had an accuracy of 92.0% in this document. If you include punctuation / capitalization errors, the Dragon Dictation app made an additional 5 errors. So, we had an accuracy of 91.2% in this document