Nuance has just announced the next major version of its Mac dictation software, Dragon Dictate 4. The new version improves recognition accuracy as well as several new features, including the ability to machine transcribe from a pre-recorded audio file. You no longer have to be recording a voice live to get transcription.

Screenshot 2014-03-04 08.07.43We’ve had a quick play with the software and the accuracy is almost scary good compared to older versions of the software. Speaking in a normal voice gives you almost 100% accuracy and even mumbling seems to work. While Mavericks uses the same Nuance speech engine, Dictate 4 has a better interface for transcription and tons of extra features as outlined in the videos above and below.

Dragon Dictate software has also been updated for modern system architectures — it is a 64-bit app now.  This results in better performance and better memory management over its predecessors. The company says it has drastically reduced latency when interpreting speech.

There is also tight integration with Gmail in Safari and Firefox. Through voice commands, you can navigate inboxes, select messages, and open links in emails without needing a mouse. You can mix talking and edit commands seamlessly. Similar support is available for Pages 4.3 (Pages ’09).

In a press release, the company says it has invested more than ever in Dragon Dictate 4.

Dragon Dictate for Mac creates a personalized voice experience for the Mac with the ability to create customized vocabularies to always recognize the words, phrases and names you use the most. Dragon remembers your corrections, getting more intelligent and accurate every time it is used. And because a data or Wi-Fi connection is not necessary, Dragon is always available to get to work.

“We’ve invested even more into the latest version of Dragon Dictate for Mac to make it the fastest and most accurate voice recognition experience for Mac yet – including customization and personalization capabilities that adapt to any customer’s unique way of working,” said Peter Mahoney, Chief Marketing Officer, Nuance. “Combined with powerful transcription features, Dragon Dictate now offers the most complete voice experience on the Mac today.”

Dragon Dictate costs $199.99 and is available from Nuance’s website as a digital download starting today. Boxed versions will be on sale starting March 18th.

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7 Responses to “Nuance announces Dragon Dictate 4, with pre-recorded transcription features and Gmail integration”

  1. golfersal says:

    I have learned one thing about dragon Dictate, the company that runs it does a terrible job in servicing it’s customers. When Maverick came out they were really slow in giving us a update that worked.
    They are very fast with costly upgrades, the regular price is $199 but the update is $149. Not much respect for past customers.
    The version 3 of Dragon Dictate wasn’t the best, the worst thing was that I couldn’t teach it spelling of names of people and so forth. The learning of words was terrible.

    I will be very careful in updating and a piece of advise for others, wait a month or two you will be able to get the $199 program for $99, that is the history of the company.

    I really dislike the customer care of Nuance so I will be very careful this time around in updating.


    • I agree. If you buy a downloadable version, you can only download it for a limited time. To get access to it again, you have to pay.

      Customer service is not helpful at all.


    • I did buy the upgrade and my experiece was not so great. First of all, the software, once I finally got it running seems much more responsive than the version 3 that I had been running before. The problem is with the purchase process and the customer service.

      I bought my upgrade but the activation process wouldn’t complete properly. I would repeatedly get a dialog box saying I’d already activated and needed to buy another serial number. Calling customer support was painful. After first needing to listen to a recording saying that they had paid support options, I finally got to a person who figured out she couldn’t help me.

      I was then transferred to someone to whom I needed to explain my problem to a 2nd time. It turned out he was not the right person to help me either. He said he would transfer me to the right department. Instead, I ended up at the top of the phone tree again.

      Finally I reached someone in the “right department”. He confirmed my software was already registered. I asked if he could just remove that and let me try it again. No, he wouldn’t do that. He had me uninstall the software and reinstall the software. It didn’t prompt me for the serial number this time. I explained that the “about” dialog box says I’m running an “Unregistered Version” of the software. He said don’t worry about it because it’s registered on their side.

      Good software. BAD customer relations.


  2. rogerbrisson says:

    I have to agree with the others here, the atrocious customer service at Nuance prevents me from ever buying software from them. It’s straight out of Saturday Night Live, it’s so laughably bad, except when you’ve just spent a couple of hundred dollars and you can’t even install the software.


  3. I agree with all the other user’s comments. DD/Nuance’s customer support is just PAINFUL. Slow, cumbersome, needlessly complicated, generally off shore non-native english speakers, and sometimes rude. Damn, I wish Apple would buy Nuance, Apple support iOS light years ahead of Nuance. I probably won’t buy v4 just because of the lousy customer service.


    • golfersal says:

      Nothing like investing all of this money to gain software and then updating it and making it good but then you crap all over the people that are going to buy it.
      That’s the Nuance story, guess we have to figure out if the software is important enough to go through all of this hassle.
      I for one don’t think so, I don’t support and give money to folks that are terrible to their client base.

      Can someone in charge of Nuance realize what a bad reputation they have and try to fix it???
      They are not going to return a profit for their investment because they have ticked off half of the user base.

      Please Nuance read all of this poor comments and react to it. Every blog, every forum including Nuance forum says the same thing, people hate Nuance customer service and won’t buy the product.

      So for the folks of Nuance, read and learn, get better to your client base.


  4. I’ve used Dragon Dictate since its early days. Progress on the dictation side is very impressive as accuracy out of the box now is very, very good.

    However, the accuracy of the transcription part of the software (the reason I bought the upgrade), is rubbish. Average accuracy per sentence is well below 50%. They’ve launched the software before it’s even of Beta release quality!

    The work around is to have a good quality USB headset. Listen to the recording you wanted to transcribe and repeat what you hear into the microphone. It works but when you have hours of mp3s to transcribe, it’s hardly practical!

    For the cost of the upgrade, I could have paid a professional to transcribe a lot of recordings!

    I haven’t had to deal with Nuance’s customer service, so I can’t comment on their service levels.