Nuance Updates Dragon Dictation for Mac With 24% Accuracy Boost, New Batch Mode

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Voice dictation company Nuance today announced a collection of new software upgrades, including Dragon Professional Individual (version 15), Dragon Legal Individual (version 15), and Dragon Professional Individual for Mac (version 6). As with all versions of Nuance's software, the new updates are said to feature "powerful dictation, transcription and customization capabilities" to allow users helpful and responsive dictation features with an emphasis on workflow.

The Dragon software lets its users precisely dictate reports, spreadsheets, emails, and other documentation using only their voice. Specifically on the new Mac release, the software has had its accuracy boosted up to 24 percent over previous iterations of Dragon. Helpful tips will get new users "up to speed quickly," while further educating existing Dragon fans into the complexities of Nuance's product.
"This latest suite of professional productivity solutions brings with it some of the most advanced capabilities to drive documentation productivity - with higher accuracy, speed and efficiency," said Peter Mahoney, senior vice president and general manager of Dragon. "Combined with Dragon's optimization for portable touchscreen PC's and the ability to sync with Dragon Anywhere, professionals are able to keep up with documentation demands from just about anywhere their business takes them."
In the new update, Nuance has introduced a "Batch Mode" to allow users to transcribe multiple audio files at once, as well as introducing full text control to empower "users to work even more quickly and accurately by voice." Using Apple's accessibility API, Dragon Professional Individual for Mac supports Apple Pages, Apple Keynote, Apple Numbers, Microsoft Outlook 2016, Scrivener, and other document creation programs.

The release on the Mac -- as well as Dragon on the PC -- uses Nuance's new "Deep Learning Technology" to learn each of its users' voice patterns and accents. This allows Dragon to recognize and adapt to the environment, be it in a quiet office or outside, which is a possibility thanks to the company's Dragon Anywhere mobile app that launched late last year. Over time, this speech data is accrued to improve Dragon's voice dictation features and result in a more naturalistic readout of transcribed speech.

The English version of Dragon Professional Individual for Mac will go on sale for $300 on September 1 (digital) and September 14 (retail) in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Nuance is also holding a special upgrade pricing scheme, selling Dragon for $150 for users who own registered versions of Dragon Dictate for Mac, versions 4 and higher. Those interested in the other Dragon software bundles can find out more about Dragon Professional Individual for PC and Dragon Legal Individual on Nuance's official website.

Article Link: Nuance Updates Dragon Dictation for Mac With 24% Accuracy Boost, New Batch Mode
 

SandboxGeneral

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I have a friend who uses and swears by Dragon dictation as its enabled him to write reports more effectively after a spinal injury and only has limited use of his hands. To be fair, he used the software prior to the accident he had and loved it back then too.

A 24% boost in accuracy is quite good too, nothing to sneeze at there.
 

Eidorian

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Mar 23, 2005
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While the Windows version, the Medical versions of Dragon can save you a lot of money on dictation even if the up front cost makes some smaller practices cringe.
 

keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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I have a friend who uses and swears by Dragon dictation as its enabled him to write reports more effectively after a spinal injury and only has limited use of his hands. To be fair, he used the software prior to the accident he had and loved it back then too.

A 24% boost in accuracy is quite good too, nothing to sneeze at there.
Yep, you're right. The software is incredible.

The early 5.0.0 — 5.0.4 builds for OS X had loads of bugs; crashing Word, crashing Dragon Dictate... We submitted so many crash logs to Nuance's portal. They were great in getting it sorted.

Office 16 on Mac had a lot to do with it as well because that was buggy as heck too. Eventually it was a combination of OS X updates, Dragon updates, and Office updates, to resolve the issue.

Dragon NS Premium v13 for Windows still doesn't work properly with Office 365, if it's the 16 version. So we still need to install 13 on the 365 licence for compatibility. It can be really, really frustrating when it doesn't work; when you're in tech support, the customer seems to blame you for it not working, as if you're the one who programmed the application :D

But boy, it is damn good when it works. Damn good. Really looking forward to trying this new update!
 

Szarky

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Jul 29, 2010
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Anyone notice the built in dictation in the latest Mac OS is quite slow to "boot up"=double tap Function key I think it was.
 
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2457282

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I used it at the beginning when it was free (or I somehow had a free version, don't remember). But now I guess I don't need it as much. I don't dictate through Siri or any other software. iType on my iPhone/iPad and make iErrors for which iApologize. :D
 
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dysamoria

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Dec 8, 2011
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A 24% boost in accuracy is quite good too, nothing to sneeze at there.
If it was already very accurate, sure. I don't find voice to text all that helpful for anything other than short/simple phrases with average American vocabulary. Even then...

It can be really, really frustrating when it doesn't work; when you're in tech support, the customer seems to blame you for it not working, as if you're the one who programmed the application
Naturally. Tech support is the customer's only interface with the company that created/markets the product. With the level of indoctrinated belief in "computer people" being "special", average consumers really do tend to have an unrealistic impression of the abilities of support persons... because they're told support people are "geniuses" and no one informs them otherwise (for example, being clear as to the difference between the skill set of support personnel being entirely different than programmers, and that directly interfacing with the programmers would be even more infuriating).
 
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keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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Tell me about it! I provide a lot of tech support in my job and sometimes the users think I have a magic wand to fix problems on the spot, or over the phone. I wish I did though.
Oh boy. Yeah, that magic wand we store under our desks — the wand we seldom use, as we'd much rather grind our teeth going through painstaking remote troubleshooting. It's what we live for.

How'd they find out about that wand, anyway? ;)
 
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Marzzz

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The Medical versions of Dragon can save you a lot of money on dictation even if the up front cost makes some smaller practices cringe.
Admittedly, the upfront cost of Dragon Dictate Medical was barely 2-3 weeks of the cost of professional transcription services, but the software itself is a huge battle to use, and there is ZERO support from the company. I have been using it for years, but with each "upgrade" there are new performance problems, bugs, and other issues.
 

cameronjpu

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Aug 24, 2007
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It has been a long time since I've used desktop dictation, but my impression was that it had reached 95 to 97% accuracy level about 10 years ago. How could it possibly be 24% better than that?
 

neuropsychguy

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It has been a long time since I've used desktop dictation, but my impression was that it had reached 95 to 97% accuracy level about 10 years ago. How could it possibly be 24% better than that?
Those old accuracy estimates were, shall we say, very generous (i.e., not accurate). I've heard from a family member who has used dictation software regularly since the 1990s that major gains in accuracy have happened in the past couple years, however. It's recently been good enough to use for general writing (but still not more than 95% accurate).

How the math works for improved accuracy (assuming 95% accurate before) is probably like this: ((1-0.95)*0.24)+0.95 = 0.962. So a jump from 95% to 96.2% accuracy can be marketed as 24% better.
 
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Mick-Mac

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Oct 24, 2011
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While I acknowledge the software is OK, I dumped it a while ago. Every time there is a new update they go into crazy obscene price gouging mode (lots of hate for these guys on MacUpdate for this very reason). Despite what the marketing says for the new version, the performance improvements quoted never seem to be that noticeable and you effectively pay for a lot of new bugs that take eons to resolve.
 

Phoenixx

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Dragon on the Mac has to be one of the worst pieces of software out there. It's so bad, the average user is better off buying the Windows version and installing that under Parallels or Bootcamp. That's exactly what I did.

And this nonsense about a 24% increase in accuracy is outright BS. The program is already 99% accurate, so to increase it by 24% is actually only a fraction of a percent in difference. That's so small the average user won't even notice. The far bigger limitation is not the software, but the microphone that is used. In real world terms, you will increase the accuracy far more by buying a top grade mike. Personally, I use a specially modified Sennheiser ME 3, and get great results and that's on version 13.
 
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ogun7

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Sep 20, 2001
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Dragon on the Mac has to be one of the worst pieces of software out there. It's so bad, the average user is better off buying the Windows version and installing that under Parallels or Bootcamp.
Have you heard if it's still that bad? I want to use it, but dread having to use Bootcamp on my Mac.
 
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psymac

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Jul 17, 2002
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Looks like a ripoff to me, they just charged $99 last year for Version 5 upgrade from 4, now another $150 to upgrade to 6. I had to downgrade to Version 4 from 5, as 5 kept crashing in MS Word. So it looks like no fix for 5, we'll have to pay for 6 or keep using 4. As a primarily PC company, Nuance seems focused on profit over user experience and value. Siri may really be the way to go long term.
 

linuxcooldude

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Mar 1, 2010
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I paid $50.00 for Dragon Express in the Mac App store. It disappeared never to return or be updated. Never again.
 
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Supertaff

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May 20, 2014
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iv'e used a number of different version of Dragon Dictate, but missed last years as I was getting very frustrated with the yearly increment costs and the lack of in year updates/ bug fixes. I don't mind paying money for software, but I do expect it to be bug fixed after launch. The software seems old as well as per the last release I had.

I agree with other commenters that when it's trained and working, it can be an excellent piece of software and I have used it to write a lot of documents, though it does require you to really think about what your going to write and not write how you would speak (the two are very different)

Recently on the Beta of OSX Sierra I have been using the inbuilt dictation software from OSX and when you download the local files it seems to work quite well. It's not as powerful with the editing commands that DD has, but seems to work well for emails, documents and basic work.

Maybe I'll see what the initial reviews are on this forum before I decide to upgrade myself.

Oh, the other thing that annoys me about dragon (and other companies) is the download policy they adopt in that you can only download it for a couple of weeks without paying for 'extra download support' which I think is a total con. Especially as recently my NAS box totally crashed (thanks NETGEAR) and that was where I stored all my dmg's and i needed to reinstall DD onto a new Macbook, and I couldn't.
 
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mijail

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Oct 31, 2010
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Dragon on the Mac has to be one of the worst pieces of software out there. It's so bad, the average user is better off buying the Windows version and installing that under Parallels or Bootcamp. That's exactly what I did.

And this nonsense about a 24% increase in accuracy is outright BS. The program is already 99% accurate, so to increase it by 24% is actually only a fraction of a percent in difference. That's so small the average user won't even notice. The far bigger limitation is not the software, but the microphone that is used. In real world terms, you will increase the accuracy far more by buying a top grade mike. Personally, I use a specially modified Sennheiser ME 3, and get great results and that's on version 13.
You're ignoring that 95% accuracy, IIRC, is considered unusable.

To make a concrete example, let's imagine that they are going from 99% to 99.9% accuracy. It is "only" a 10% improvement (assuming that it makes sense to count it that way! ;P), but for "the average user" it's a HUGE difference. It's the difference between failing one word per 100, or one per 1000.

Consider that "conversational speech speed" is about 120 words per minute, and that means that at 99% you're having to correct more than one word per minute. So you'll have to be as conscious about the dictation as about checking the transcription for pretty much every sentence - because every handful of sentences there WILL be a problem. It's a rather big mental effort, and not easy to pull out for long periods.

At 99.9%, you can dictate for minutes without having to correct anything.

Now, from 99.9% to 99.99% it's an even smaller difference, and yet that means 1 failure per 10000 words. You would have to fix less than one word per hour!

In summary: percentages can be misleading if you don't stop to think :p.
 
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