Nuance Dragon Home 15 (discontinued) and Otter are two of the most popular voice recognition software options for seniors who have difficulty typing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. This type of software can save seniors a lot of time and energy, as it allows them to speak instead of writing and converts their spoken words into text. Although dictation software has been around since the 1990s, it was mainly viewed as a gimmick due to its low accuracy.
However, technological advances have made them more accurate and usable; you can now dictate text with accuracy levels greater than 90%.The most popular office software, Word, comes with a built-in voice-to-text converter, and its backup engine has almost certainly been aided by Microsoft's purchase of the software company Dragon, which is a leader in the field when it comes to dictation software for all applications. Apple and Google also offer similar options for their software platforms. However, there are other competitors worth considering, depending on your needs and budget. Dragon Professional Individual dictation software is widely recognized as the best in the industry. Dragon products are reliable, easy to use, and are among the most accurate available.
In a 300-word test, the software got 299 words right. Like most advanced dictation software platforms, Dragon software takes advantage of deep learning technology and artificial neural networks. These technologies allow Dragon to adjust its transcription based on several factors, such as the amount of ambient noise, the speaker's accent, and even the tone with which he speaks. For businesses, several Dragon dictation products may be suitable as Dragon has gone beyond offering an all-purpose software package and has created dictation software that is custom-designed for specific industries. The most popular are Dragon Legal, Dragon Medical One, and Dragon Law Enforcement.
The biggest disadvantage of Dragon dictation software is the substantial cost of a license. However, Nuance currently offers 12 months of access to Dragon Anywhere at no additional cost with the purchase of Dragon Home or Dragon Professional Individual. So powerful is Dragon's mobile dictation software that it deserves its own place on our list. Unlike its desktop counterpart, Dragon Anywhere is purchased through an ongoing subscription, rather than a one-time purchase. As expected, the mobile version of Dragon is a pocket version of the desktop software.
There is little to no compromise when it comes to performance or accuracy. Dragon Anywhere uses cloud-based data sets and deep learning algorithms to deliver a desktop experience on mobile devices. Another feature we like is the ability to teach new words to the software, expand your vocabulary, and ensure it works for you, not the other way around. This makes using Dragon Anywhere a stress-free experience. One of our only complaints about the platform is that you can only dictate text from the app; if you want to move the transcribed text to another application, you'll have to copy and paste it. Although it's not a standalone dictation software platform, we believe that Microsoft Word's dictation functionalities deserve a place on this list.
Integrated directly into Microsoft Word and included with all Microsoft 365 subscriptions, it's a powerful and accurate dictation tool. Several voice commands allow you to take control of the document; these include punctuation marks and formatting tools. One last thing we like about Microsoft Word's speech-to-text conversion software is its support for nine different languages, and many more are in the testing phase. One of the few dictation software platforms that can come close to Dragon is Otter. This popular software package is one of the easiest to use. It comes with several advanced features that set it apart from some of the lowest-ranking providers on this list.
One of our favorite features is speaker identification; this is ideal for meetings or when several are speaking in turn. When the Otter software identifies a change in the speaker, it will indicate this in the transcribed text. Otter also allows you to record directly from the application or import audio and video files stored on your device. And unlike Dragon, an Otter subscription includes a mobile version of the software. Apple's built-in dictation software is available free of charge on all Apple devices. It's certainly not the best dictation software overall but it's earned last place on our list because it's free but very functional.
The software can be accessed directly from the on-screen keyboard of an iOS device or through a keyboard shortcut on macOS devices; no installation or configuration is necessary. Google Docs is a popular global online processor offered by Google; it works the same as Microsoft Word but online instead of a desktop application. It's also free to use so you don't have to pay any additional fees for a dictation tool; all you need to use Google Docs is an internet connection.