How to Use Dragon Dictation with Android Devices

By Stephanie Diamond

There are lots of exciting new developments for Android devices, including some from Dragon Dictation. With the introduction of OS version 4.0, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, Android developers have improved the operating system’s dictation capabilities. Following are some of the applications that you can use with your Android device.

Dragon Mobile Assistant

Are you jealous of all the questions that iOS users get to ask their virtual assistants? Now you can have your own assistant on your Android device, and it’s free. It’s called Dragon Mobile Assistant and it lets you ask questions and make requests of your own. Want to make a call? How about send a text message? You can now send and receive text messages completely hands free.

One of the really fun uses available in the latest version is your ability to share your location. You tell the assistant, “Tell <person> where I am.” The person gets a Google Map showing where you are. They can tell you where they are if they’re using Dragon Mobile Assistant too.

You can download Dragon Mobile Assistant from Google Play.

Swype Beta for Android

Swype Beta is a Nuance application for the Android smartphone. It provides very exciting keyboard functionality as well as dictation. You’ll also find the list of supported languages.

According to Nuance, Swype will be in perpetual beta to allow for ongoing development, but they will provide you with updates for each expired version. Each version lasts for six months.

There is no 24/7 support for this version, but Nuance has a forum where you can find information and speak to other users. The Nuance Swype Community Management team will engage with users there.

Swype is a booster shot for your Android keyboard. It lets you communicate by tracing on the keyboard with your finger to form words. Tracing is just like it sounds. You use the keyboard with continuous motion and you can actually see the tracing your hand is creating. As you begin tracing a word, you’re given choices.

If you see the right choice, tap it and save yourself the trouble of finishing the word. Over time, you can move pretty quickly working this way.

You can also use your finger to write as you do when you just can’t find anything digital to write with. Then magically it becomes digital — whew, that was close! It recognizes what you write and turns it into text. What’s interesting is that it takes handwriting recognition to the next level.

The reason is that it takes advantage of the predictive nature of the NaturallySpeaking application. In order for Dragon to be able to pick the right word when you dictate, it has algorithms that predict which words most likely go together. By using those same statistics for handwriting recognition, it can be more accurate in the choices it presents to you.

But what about dictation? When using Swype Beta, you can dictate into open windows, and your speech becomes text, just like in applications you use with NaturallySpeaking on your PC. This means that you can dictate e-mails, post to social media, send instant messages, and pretty much do anything that involves a text window, like web searching.

Here are some features you may want to try:

  • Swype Editor: When you dictate, Swype looks for the word that would fit the context best and suggests it to you. If you would rather use that word, you tap it, and it’s inserted. This is a great help when you’re making corrections.

  • Living Language: This is a feature that you have to opt into. It adds words that are currently popular online and incorporates them into the vocabulary available to you. That way, you don’t have to introduce the application to new words that explode in the popular culture.