By Stephanie Diamond

Happily, NaturallySpeaking isn’t limited to Apple mobile devices or even Android. You can dictate with BlackBerry smartphones as well. (Check online to find out whether your specific BlackBerry model smartphone is currently supported.) As the name implies, BlackBerry Dragon for E-Mail is devoted exclusively to sending e-mail from your BlackBerry. It’s free and it uses the built-in BlackBerry e-mail client, so everything works smoothly.

Following are four key things to do when you install it:

  • Give permission. You must give Dragon permission to use speech recognition on your phone.

  • Decide the location of your side key. You need to pick a side key that lets you invoke speech recognition when you want it. This means that you choose whether the key will be enabled on the right or left side of the device by changing the designation to Nothing on the chosen side. When you are not in your e-mail application, the key works in its default manner.

  • Test your side key. You will be asked to confirm that your side key is working as designated.

  • (Optional) Load your e-mail contacts. If you choose to, you can upload your e-mail contacts to the Dragon servers so they can instantly grab the requested e-mail address and put it in your e-mail.

After you install the app, you can e-mail as you normally do, with the added benefit of mixing voice with keyboard. To invoke dictation, press and hold the designated side key to enable voice recognition. You can then dictate into any field in your e-mail form.

You must have the cursor in the e-mail field in which you want to dictate. Unlike Full Text Control applications of NaturallySpeaking on your PC, you can’t move the cursor by voice.

So, for example, when you want to move from the Subject field to the Body field, you can’t do it by saying, “Move To Body Field.” You have to move your cursor into that field before you start dictating. It’s still faster to dictate the body of your message rather than type it — five times faster.