Grandma Gives Nuance's Dragon Anywhere a Try
Published October 30, 2023
I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an annual subscription to Nuance's Dragon Anywhere. For those not familiar with Dragon Anywhere, it's a dictation app. Nuance has been in the dictation business for many years. I believe the first Dragon Dictation release was in 1997.
I was introduced to Dragon's software (back then, it was called NaturallySpeaking) in 1998 when I was tech writing. A co-worker shared a copy with me (yes, a bootleg copy). I don't remember which version it was, but I was somewhat impressed with what it could do. It was kind of glitchy in those days, but it was the best of the available dictation programs.
Nuance Dictation Improvements
Over the years, Nuance made notable improvements in the software. I eventually purchased the software and upgraded it every few years. There was a time when Nuance gave their users the ability to dictate using a mobile device. It was part of the software purchase, but they discontinued that, much to my dismay.
In an attempt to replace that functionality, I tried and wrote about several alternatives (I wrote about them here, here, here, here, and here). Although I made them work, it wasn't as efficient and accurate as dictating with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
What I did like about the alternatives, however, was that I didn't have to train the programs to recognize my voice. Early on, NaturallySpeaking's program required extensive voice training. I understood why it was necessary, but after using alternatives, I wondered if Nuance could provide the same accuracy without the lengthy training process.
Free Trial of Dragon Anywhere
Let me start this section by admitting my frugalness. Some folks call it being cheap, but I call it being frugal. Why spend money when you don't have to? Anyway, I decided to download the free seven-day trial of Dragon Anywhere and give it a go.
If it proved beneficial to my writing process, I would purchase a subscription. Nuance offers a monthly subscription of $15 per month and an annual of $150 per year. It's not cheap.
I remember when buying software involved a one-time purchase, and you own the program for life. Now, most programs/apps are on a subscription model. I understand why, but I don't like it. I like the one-and-done payment model. However, subscriptions allow for timely updates, new features, and patches without having to wait for or pay for the next version of the program. A whole new paradigm.
The New Nuance Experience with Dragon Anywhere
The one notable difference with the Dragon Anywhere app is the need for voice training is gone. Once I logged into the app, I started dictating immediately, and the transcription was accurate. That was impressive.
There were a few hiccups, however. The first hiccup was my error. When I signed up for the trial, Nuance sent an email explaining how to log in. In my eagerness to get started, I partially read the email and attempted to sign into the app. I couldn't and became frustrated. I would have avoided that frustration if I had read the entire email.
Getting Familiar with Dragon Anywhere
I use the app on my iPhone and iPads. The first time I attempted to use it on each device, the app crashed. It crashed on the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and the iPhone. After restarting the app, everything worked just fine.
Here are some of the things I like about the program:
Here are some of the things I don't like about the program:
Features I Wish Dragon Anywhere Had
Bottom line, I like Dragon Anywhere. The problems I had with the program was due to a disconnect between my expectations and what the app does. Dragon Anywhere is a very good dictation app. Probably the best one available. As long as the dictation works properly, everything else is secondary.
Judging Nuance's slow website and somewhat antiquated way of signing up for an annual subscription is sort of like judging a fish's ability to climb trees. Fish are great swimmers and Nuance makes great dictation software.
Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.
Last Modified: 30 October 2023
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