I’ve been using Dragon Naturally Speaking on my PC at work. I have a MacBook Pro at home and I’m going to buy Dragon Dictate for it very soon. The Dragon speech recognition products are really great but it’s the Dragon Mobile Apps that I want to tell you about.

First, though, let me tell you about Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5. I use it at work when I write emails, letters and documentation for clients. I also use it when I use gchat with my clients and when I write forum posts on the web. Any time I have to type more than a few words, I’m using Dragon. I find it to be amazingly accurate, even with some of the technical jargon I have to use.

It’s worth it to do some training to make Dragon most effective. Speaking to dictate is different than just talking; saying punctuation and enunciating your words will definitely decrease your post-processing work after talking to your computer for dictation purposes.  I always review what Dragon thinks I said and I suggest you do the same.

When I bought Dragon, I also ordered a desk microphone. Dragon came with a headset but I prefer not to be tethered to my desk with a headset I have to take on and off so the USB microphone seemed like a good idea. I also have a camera with a microphone mounted on my flatscreen monitor so I had choices to determine the best way to use the speech software. The camera and desk microphones were just ok and, like the headset, required that I be at my desk to use Dragon.

The Dragon Mobile App for my iPhone changed everything. The app, available free in the iTunes Store, connects my phone to my computer wirelessly and allows me to use Dragon with my iPhone as the microphone. Setup is easy…you just create a new profile for the Dragon Mic and you’re all set. The app, called Dragon Microphone, connects to your computer over your local wireless network; there’s help available if you need it.

Note that Dragon says that your wireless network security might make connecting your iphone and computer difficult. I had no problems when I connected and my network has WEP level security. Troubleshooting is also available on the Dragon website here:  http://bit.ly/Jsev49

To use the Dragon iPhone app, I tap the icon (which is on my home screen) and then I tap the round button in the center of the screen – that’s all I need to do to start dictating. The button turns green when the phone is successfully connected to my computer. If the mic app can’t find your computer, you’ll be notified with a dialog box. When you’re connected and the button turns green, you’re ready to dictate.

The iPhone is very cool as the microphone for Dragon because it’s convenient, easy and it just works. I love that I can walk around my office and talk into the phone, knowing that my words will be typed on my word processing program. I’m not tethered my desk when I dictate and I can control the Dragon program (and my PC) with voice commands.

An additional benefit of building my dictation skills with the Dragon iPhone app and Naturally Speaking is that my effectiveness with Siri has gone way up! Siri works better when I enunciate my words and she likes the punctuation too.

Dragon Naturally Speaking will make your writing life much easier. Using the iPhone as your microphone is simple, effective and fun. I urge you to try it.

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