March 23rd, 2012

Dragon Dictation Converts Your Speech to Text


Faculty Focus App of the Week


Dragon Dictation (Nuance Communications)


Speech-to-text conversion


A good app designed to convert what you say to typed text.

Learning Curve

Intuitive and extremely easy to use!

Rating (5 star scale)

4 stars No special training and the software does well with different accents.



I have never been truly impressed with text-to-speech software but I was mildly surprised with the Dragon Dictation app. Dragon Naturally Speaking software for the PC has been around for some time and I well remember spending a lot of time training the software to recognize my voice and speech patterns, something I do not care to do again.

In the case of this app, however, that was not necessary. I downloaded the app, started speaking and the translation to typed text was a fairly accurate representation of what I said. It was not 100% correct but close enough for me to continue using the app. The onboard microphone worked well but I had better performance using a USB microphone plugged into Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit (keep in mind that Apple does not support USB microphone connection to their dongle but other testers had the same result I did, the USB mic does work).

The app is really easy to use. Tap the app and you are presented with a ‘record’ button at the center of the screen. ‘Tap and dictate’ and Dragon starts recording your voice. Tap the same area to stop and, after processing your recording, Dragon spits out the text conversion. You can add to a recording, make a new recording, delete recordings, e-mail, copy, change settings or post to a couple social networks. Editing text is fairly simple, touch a word and Dragon offers suggestions or the option to delete the word. The interface is quite simple but you will have to put up with a Dragon banner at the bottom of your screen which cannot be covered up or turned off—something you have to live with for a neat free app. Oh, one last thing, Dragon will only run with Wi-Fi enabled.

Dragon Dictation 

 Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation has a fairly clean interface and the app is very easy to use. No voice training is required. The app has a helpful set of tips for using Dragon Dictation—new paragraph, new line, equal sign, etc. Best of all, the app is free! Speak and Dragon Dictation converts your speech to text. There are language options for non-English speakers and I found that the app worked very well even with my accent! There are several text to speech apps and a number of voice recording apps. However, there appears to be few speech to text apps available.

Dave Yearwood, associate professor and chair of the technology department, University of North Dakota.

8 comments on “Dragon Dictation Converts Your Speech to Text

  1. Hi Dave
    Please help I cannot find the link to the Dragon app though I have looked long and hard. Thank you

  2. Hi Dave
    Tried again using your link, no luck I'm afraid, no sign of free app. As someone who bought and used Dragon 10 (at a bad currency exchange rate) but found it fiddly and not as fast as touch typing I am disappointed with what I've found, which is only sales pitches. Am I missing something here? Thank you

    • Hi Pri:

      I too was a bit disappointing with the PC version of the software (think I had version 10 or 11). However, I understand that the latest version is way better! Still not willing yet to spend big bucks when the iPad version will help fill my need. Another app I found that seems to work well for e-mails (someone–cannot remember the name at this time–alerted me to this in the first blog) is "Quickvoice." There is a free and a paid version (I think .099 cents). You might want to try that as well. Good luck.

  3. I am using Dragon 11.5 on my PC and it is the latest Dragon. Dragon makes a lot of grammar errors such as capitalization errors. Example: i am a teacher. are you a teacher too? It also makes word usage mistakes: I am of Asian dissent (instead of descent.) I want a peace of pie (instead of a piece of pie.). Dragon does help when my fingers are tired but I get sick and tired of fixing grammar errors. I do hope the next version will fix these errors.

  4. I typed an article on my Dragon Dictation. It was there for 2 days and then disappeared. I did not delete it. Is there any way that this article can be retrieved?

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