Nuance has pushed out a new version of Dragon Dictate for Mac, its OS X voice dictation package, taking on Apple's own Mountain Lion speech recognition and throwing in smartphone microphone support too. Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 promises a 15-percent accuracy increase versus the previous version, along with the ability to transcribe audio files; meanwhile, if you have an iPhone or Android device, you can use that as a wireless microphone.
Apple obviously brought its own challenge to speech recognition systems in the latest OS X release, with Mountain Lion supporting native transcription. However, Apple's implementation is server-based, and so Macs require a data connection in order to process voice commands and dictation.
In contrast, Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 is self-contained, as well as including support throughout Mountain Lion, so there's no need to be online. There's integrated commands for Notes and Reminders, along with better understanding of formatting such as abbreviations and numbers; Nuance has also tweaked the way corrections are made, so as to streamline the process and take less time away from actual dictation.
If you're working from a recorded audio file, meanwhile, you can load a .wav, .m4a, .m4v, .mp4, .aif, or .aiff recording and - as long as it's a single person speaking - have it automatically transcribed. There's also support for 16kHz wideband Bluetooth microphones for improved wireless recordings, and which - when automatically recognized by the app - bypasses the initial voice training program altogether. If you have either an iOS device or an Android phone, you can now use the Nuance Remote Microphone App too.
Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 is up for preorder now, priced at $199.99. Those already using Macspeech Dictate or Dragon Dictate can save $50 as an upgrade; there'll also be bundles with a compatible Bluetooth headset. Digital deliveries are expected to begin September 13, with in-store shipments from September 24.