Dragon: Two Free Voice Recognition Software For The iPhone

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dragons.jpgMany advanced computer users have long used voice recognition programs to both voice navigate their computers and for dictating writing. Both Windows and Mac have voice commands programs installed in their software systems, and there are two popular programs on the market, Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking (for Windows), and the Mac version of the voice recognition program, MacSpeech.

These programs are pretty expensive, but if you”˜re an iPhone or iPod touch user and you want to get an idea of their capabilities, Nuance has created two versions of free voice recognition software for iPhone, Dragon and Dragon Search, for Apple”˜s leading mobile devices.

voice recognition software iphone

These Dragon voice recognition software apps for iPhone are similar to the Google Mobile App for searching. With these programs, you simply tap the record button, speak your search terms, and voila, you get almost instant search results. Google’s app is of course limited to its search engine, but Dragon search includes options for searching Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, YouTube, and the iTunes Store.

When the search results come up, you simply slide your finger to move to the other options. If you want a few other options besides Google, the program can be configured to use Yahoo or Bing as the default search provider. To do so, you need to select from the main iPhone screen the Settings app, Dragon Search>Search Provider. From there, select your default provider.

dragonapp - voice recognition software iphone

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The Dragon Search program also includes a “Detect End-of-speech“ option which detects when you have finished speaking and automatically clicks the Done button for you. Of course, in noisy environments it probably won’t work as accurately.

My experience with the voice recognition software for iPhone has been very positive. The Dragon apps are amazingly accurate, and they don’t require direct voice training. The more you use them, the better they get at recognizing your voice, so avoid sharing the program with other people. Also, currently the program can only be used for English speakers. Nuance has text-to-speech solutions for 50 different languages, so no doubt its mobile apps will be expanded for other languages in the near future.

Apple has included some voice search features in its latest updates to the iPhone and the iPod touch, but these features could be a lot better. With Dragon, you can dictate entire sentence and paragraphs. You must speak clearly and pronounce the punctuation you want included in the text. So of course at the end of a sentence, you would say, “period” or “question mark,” Speech dictation can be a little awkward at first, so Dragon is very useful for getting the hang of it.

The program also accesses the iPhone/iPod touch keyboard so that you can make corrections where needed. If you want to add additional text to what you have already written, simply put the cursor where you want to begin, and tap the record button; it will capture and write your spoken text.

free voice recognition software for iphone

Unfortunately the device can’t be used with Bluetooth mic devices; however, if you must type something on your iPhone while driving, Dragon is the safest option for doing so.

When you’re done, Dragon provides built-in options for sending text to Mail, Text Message or to the clipboard. Now doesn’t that sound like a feature that should be built into the next iPhone update, so that when you want to dictate a new email or text message, you can do so without having to open a program like Dragon? Not only is this method faster, but it can be a great way for helping users learn how to dictate writing and commands on desktop and laptop computers.

Finally, if you really need to share the program with others, you will want to again go to Settings>Dictation>Reset Enrollment On. This way, because your friends will probably sound different from you, it’s easier to delete the enrollment profile than letting them use yours. And as the instructions point out, “Conversely if you start using the system again you should execute the same steps once more.”

Voice recognition technology is getting better and better. Let us know if and how you use voice recognition in your computer workflow.

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Comments (6)
  • Anonymous

    Is there any way to obtain the Dragon voice recognition software apps for iPhone (currently only available in the US) in the UK -London. I am the world’s s l o w e s t typist and having this app would simply ease my life… Paul ph@ra77.com

  • Karan Goel


    Is there any FREE voice to text Windows software? DNS is a paid one.


  • Nick

    I have been amazingly impressed with both Dragon apps. I use the regular Dragon app almost daily. As a previous user of the PC version, I was amazed that I didn’t have to spend hours of time training it; the app seems to transcribe with better accuracy than it’s $500 counterpart.

    My only semi-gripe is that on more than one occasion the app has bombed on me, deleting several paragraphs of dictated text. It seems a little awkward that I have to double-tap the screen to select and copy it (shouldn’t that just sort of be the default?) and then choose to send it. If the text had already been auto-copied, I could have pasted it into another app after it bombed out rather than losing my work. However for 99 cents – ain’t gonna complain too loudly.

  • DK

    Found the Dragon dictation app a while ago and tried to download it – alas, as it’s only available from the US store being in the UK means I can’t get it.

    There’s a few comments on their blog requesting it become available wider plus a couple of my colleagues (and myself) have emailed the Nuance guys all to no avail… don’t seem like they want to open up the opportunity for anyone outside of the US to use it :-(

    Here’s hoping the change their mind very soon!

    • geek

      Oh it is so, I was very excited after reading this post but we hope they will make it available for other regions soon.

    • nick

      +1 I’ve been waiting for these apps to appear in the uk store for a while now.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.