By Ken Burkhalter updated on 12/13/2009
At last I think I've found my killer ap for the iPhone. It is "Dragon Dictation" from Nuance Software (http://www.nuance.com). Based on their "Dragon Naturally Speaking" for the PC software, they have ported a significant portion of the functionality to the iPhone platform. I found the speed and accuracy of this ap to be extraordinary... especially given that it is FREE (at the moment). Search for "Dragon Dictation" at the iTunes Application store to locate this ap.
The intent of this blog entry is not to sing the (much deserved) praises of this application but to reveal the surprising array of "easter egg" surprises that vastly extend the ap's capabilities and make it truely useful. While I don't do any significant "dictation" I have found this ap extremely useful in creating quick, but detailed, notes and especially for being able to finally Reply to emails with reasonable message content without having to peck away for 10 minutes on the iPhone virtual screen keyboard!
After discovering by accident that I could say "new paragraph" and get one, I started looking around the internet for more info on this ap and discovered a wonderful post at http://justanotheriphoneblog.com/wordpress/iphone-software/some-tips-for-dragon-dictation.
For convenience, I have repeated Joe's tips here, and added more that I have discovered. . .
FORMATTING [say the bolded word(s) to format the subsequent text]:
Cap to capitalize a word: “I was shopping at cap Target"
Caps On for titles: "I was reading caps on The Washington Post"
Caps Off to stop initial capitalization.
All Caps to capitalize the next word: "Can we go now all caps PLEASE"
All Caps On and All Caps Off are Caps Lock: "This is all caps on NOT A JOKE all caps off so stop playing"
No Caps, No Caps On, and No Caps Off are the exact opposite of the above: "I like Amy and no caps amy"
Space Bar not only inserts a space, but can be used to prevent a hyphen in normally hyphenated words: “A long-lasting or long space bar lasting peace.”
No Space for words you want together: “Surf on the World no space Wide no space Web”
No Space On & No Space Off for words you want together: “I was running no space on reallyreallyfast no space off the entire time”
New Line starts the following text on a new line, and New Paragraph begins a new paragraph (effectively 1 and 2 carriage returns, respectively).
PUNCTUATION, SYMBOLS, OTHER TIPS:
Say the bolded punctuation mark names to enter them in your text: period comma apostrophe open-parenthesis close-parenthesis asterisk open quote close quote. Note that you do not need to say apostrophe for possessive names such as “Joe’s”.
There is a difference between a hyphen — like this — and a dash-like this. Similarly, point (in numbers) and period have spacing differences.
Special symbols – note that many of these will automatically be placed in context, such as the dollar, cent, degree, percent, and at signs:
For the Symbol>> Say the bolded word(s):
% – percent sign
! – exclamation point or exclamation mark
© – copyright sign
® – registered sign
§ – section sign
$ – dollar sign
¢ – cent sign
° – degree sign
^ – caret
@ – at sign
£ – pound sterling sign
# – pound sign
Note: You must use cent sign explicitly. Saying “The price is fifty three cents” will yield “The price is $.53”. Say “The price is fifty three cent sign”.
Email addresses should generally be prefaced with no caps on; most common domains (such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc) are recognized, but you may have to spell others.
Saying “www” will result in the formatting of a URL: “www.justanotheriphoneblog.com”. Oddly, unlike the desktop version, saying “http” does not do the same thing in my testing. I got “HDTV” instead.
Hopefully this quick reference will help you make the most of Dragon Dictation. Happy dictating!