Before Siri burst onto the scene as a way to talk to a smartphone and have it respond, one of the biggest names in voice control for computers was Dragon Naturally Speaking from Nuance (News - Alert). And today, Nuance unveiled the newest version, Dragon Naturally Speaking 12, which promises quite a bit in term of upgrades for users already familiar with the software, and a better overall experience for those who aren't.
Nuance, as part of its announcement, said that the newest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking would bring a 20 percent improvement in accuracy over the previous version, Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5. This left many in the tech industry surprised, as there weren't a lot of complaints about the accuracy levels on Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5 as it was, even right out of the box. A 20 percent increase, therefore, would bring Dragon Naturally Speaking 12's accuracy rate to nearly 100 percent.
But it wasn't just a boost to accuracy that gave Nuance a surprising development to announce; Nuance also stepped up its game by putting fully 100 new features in Naturally Speaking 12. This in turn will not only make the program more accurate, but also faster, easier to work with, and more versatile overall. One such improvement is the ability to turn off the systems that allow for automatic tweet writing with speech recognition, which is especially welcome to those who reported that said system would often activate without prompting. Naturally Speaking 12 even supports 16kHz Bluetooth headsets, which will also improve speech recognition.
Even better, Dragon Remote—the app that let users turn iPhones into dictation devices—would be making an appearance as an Android (News - Alert) app in the near future.
Perhaps the only real downside to this particular release is that a similar update won't be coming out yet, if ever, for the Mac version known as Dragon Dictate. When asked, Erica Hill, Naturally Speaking's Product Marketing Manager, had no comment about a Mac version update.
Nuance plans to release Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 the week of August 13, where the Home Edition will be sold for $99.99, and the Premium Edition will retail at $199.99.
While Mac users will be left out in the cold somewhat with this update, those who don't use Apple (News - Alert) products should be very happy, be they PC users or Android, with the news. Why Nuance is giving short shrift to Apple users is unclear, but present nonetheless, but for those who can use the software, they should be very happy to see the new versions emerge.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli