Nuance speech recognition comes to Mac App Store with Dragon Express

Nuance just dropped a new Dragon dictation product in the Mac App Store called Dragon Express ($49 introductory price), a scaled-back, less expensive version of their Dragon Dictate software. This new version will reside in Lion’s menubar, allowing you to activate the dictate window with a keyboard shortcut or mouse click, and begin converting your speech to text immediately. From there you’ll be able to quickly email it, run a web search with the text, copy it, or share to the usual social networking suspects.

“Dragon Express is a great app for those who are new to speech recognition or who are looking for an easy-to-use dictation tool that allows them to use their voice instead of typing,” said Peter Mahoney, senior vice president and general manager, Dragon, Nuance. “For those looking for a more full-featured speech recognition program, we recommend Dragon Dictate, which provides the full capabilities of advanced speech recognition technology.”

Nuance speech recognition technology is currently baked into Apple’s Siri voice-controlled assistant, although Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky told 9to5Mac in a recent interview it could likely be replaced if “better speech recognition comes along”. If you’re wondering how Dragon Express stacks up against their full-fledged dictate software, Nuance posted the chart below comparing the feature sets of the two apps:

 (via MacStories) comparing features of Express and Dictate

Full press release after the break (via MarketWatch).
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Vocre is a free speech translator that instantly translates voice

Google’s Translate service is relatively accurate and smooth to use, but taking the time to type in what you’d like translated or even clicking the microphone button each time is a pain — especially in real-world situations. A new app that was announced at TechCrunch Disrupt, Vocre, lets you instantly translate foreign languages through voice, even when the conversation is going on. Vocre uses Nuance technology to translate speech in a three-step process.

Being in a foreign country, this app could be great for when in a coversation. As seen in the video above, it’s quick and allows the conversation to flow freely without taking the time to type words you don’t know how to spell in a search box.

The only downfall we can see to this app is the likelihood of needing an expensive data plan when travelling overseas. But for those times you do have data: useful!

Vocre is free in the iTunes App Store. Updated: As pointed out by our lovely commenters, the app comes with 10 free translations, and after users will be charged $.99 for an additional 10 and $8.99 for an additional 100.

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