OSX Speech Recognition Apps : Free And PaidWanting to experience the time-saving benefits of speech recognition on your Macintosh? With both no cost and commercial Mac dictation software available you can try it out and see how it fits into your workflow - then decide if advanced command and control functionality is worth investing in and adding to your OSX productivity application arsenal.
Apple's OSX Dictation ServicesThe free voice recognition software built into Apple's operating system is a great way to explore speech to text functionality on your Macintosh at no expense. Free dictation software for Mac was included beginning with OSX Mountain Lion, then refined and improved in OSX Yosemite, Mavericks and ElCapitan. With the incorporation of Siri, now in recent MacOS Mojave and Sierra, a suprisingly capable set of core dictation and recognition functions are available to any Mac user.
Enhanced Apple RecognitionInitially, Apple's Dictation Services were online only: A live internet connection was required to access it's online vocabulary and translation databases. In OSX Mavericks and later versions, Apple began supporting more non-English languages. But most notable was adding OFFLINE capabilities by downloading a 700+MB file to your Macintosh and making internet access optional. It also made Mac speech to text translation much faster. Before, your voice signal pattern was limited to 30 max seconds of spoken word, transmitted up to Apple's servers, interpreted, and then returned to your application window as text after a slight delay. With the main vocabulary database now resident on your Mac, you can perform continuous dictation anywhere, anytime.
To take advantage of this: Visit Apple's System Preferences > Dictation & Speech pane. Checkbox "Use Enhanced Dictation" if available (depending on your OSX version) to "Allow offline use and continuous dictation with live feedback"
Over time, Apple has also expanded the additional Dictation Commands available to help you navigage, format, punctuate, and get expected results. To find these, you have to go to a completely different prefs pane: Apple System Preferences > Accessibility > Scroll down to Dictation category and then click the "Dictation Commands..." button to see all that are available. Tip: When dictation is active simply say "Show Commands" to get a pop-up window that shows a list of well over 50 categorized Selection, Navigation, Editing, Formatting and System commands you can speak during your session.
DISCONTINUED: Dragon Systems Pro Speech Recognition SoftwareHere, we take a look at the LAST shipping version of Dragon's dictation software for Mac OSX.
CD Disc Version 6.0
Sadly, Nuance is no longer committed to Apple's computer platform and halted ongoing software development for Apple's OSX in 2018. The previous version of Dragon Dictate for Mac was at v5.0. After releasing version 6, it became the last shipping version.
Like any advanced, mature and sophisticated commercial software app, there was a learning curve involved to really get the most out of Dragon Professional for MacOS. Some of the advanced features of their full-blown speech recognition app included:
- Personal Voice Pattern Training
- Customizable Dictionary
- Extensive Voice Control Commands
- Multi-App Integration
- Sound File Encoding For Transcription
- Transcribe MP3, AIF, AIFF, WAV, MP4, M4A, M4V
- Dragon-Anywhere Cloud Dictation for iOS & Android Devices