We've now got some more information on Nuance's plans to offer its speech recognition software on the Apple iPhone via the iTunes store.*

Called Dragon Dictation – here's the link to the App Store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dragon-dictation/id341446764?mt=8 – it is from Nuance, the developers of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking line of speech-to-text converters for Windows and the supplier of the recognition engine behind MacSpeech Dictate for the Mac. (Which we are now using here on the Rag.) The way it works is you dictate your words, which are then transmitted (via a WiFi or 3G link) to Nuance, where their servers perform the recognition processing and return the text to your iPhone. Text can then be sent as an SMS message, transferred to the iPhone's Mail
app or sent to the clipboard and pasted into an applicable
iPhone app.


After the text has been returned to your phone, you can correct transcription errors either by using a pop-up keyboard or by tapping an incorrect word and choosing the correct word from a list of suggested corrections that appears. Dragon Dictation requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later, and is currently free however according to Nuance this is a limited-time offer, suggesting they may introduce pricing if the demand takes off.

It would also appear that Dragon Dictation uploads your contact names from your iPhone's address book “to improve recognition accuracy”. Supposedly no email addresses, phone numbers or other info is uploaded – and Nuance claims this information is stored “in secure data centers according to stringent privacy and security standards.” However that may be a turn-off for law firms.

* We should add the service is currently only available in the US – however there is also rumour of a version on its way for the Blackberry.