Researched and reviewed by Eniola Odebunmi
What’s the app called?
How much does it cost?
What does it do?
Do you have study notes to type up for an overdue class project and your poor fingers are so tired from flipping through those ancient things called print books? No problem. Just start talking into Dragon Dictation and it’ll convert everything for you digitally, which you can paste into other apps, send as an email message, or save it for later. It has often been a life saver for those who are dyslexic and have dyspraxia!
Why should a university student use it? What’s good about it? How does it help?
• Support for students with learning disabilities
• Easy to use and adapt to
• Reasonably accurate and fast, the Dragon Dictation iPhone app cuts the typing out of jotting down a note, drafting an email, posting to Twitter, and a few other light tasks.
What are the benefits?
• Accurate. Wide variety of languages supported. Great for some tasks.
• Dragon Dictation is relatively accurate and fast, although users should have reasonable expectations for what that means in a lightweight app. When you press the button that tells Dragon to start listening to your speech, a “Recording” screen appears, with moving indicator bars to show that it can hear you. When you finish speaking, Dragon can (if you enable this setting) automatically detect the end of your speech, but you can press the “Done” button instead if you prefer. The app then needs a moment or two, depending on how much you just said, to process the language before spitting out typed text. When the text appears on screen, you can select any word to delete or revise. If Dragon has a second guess at what the word or words are supposed to say, it will suggest the alternate, which you can pick without having to key it in.
• No note storage. No shake to undo. Requires some touch actions. Can’t train app to learn specialized spellings of proper nouns.
• While it can increase productivity for some, it’s not even close to being a hands-free app.
• A few of the app’s limitations really bothered me. In particular, I was frustrated by the inability to shake to undo, a standard feature in iOS that I use often because I am forever accidentally deleting large swathes of text. You also can’t train this little app to learn special words, like proper names of places and people that might not be in your Contacts list.
• Dragon Dictation is a dictation app, and not a note-taking app, so you can’t save notes inside the app. I really wish the next update would add this feature, because having it would make it so much more valuable and all files will be together. As it is, you can copy your transcriptions and paste them into another note app, but that’s clunky and not time effective!