Dragon NaturallySpeaking Versus iPad Dictation – Which One Is Better?

One of the reasons that I bought the new iPad 3 was to check out the dictation feature. Apple has added a little microphone button beside the spacebar on the standard on-screen keyboard. Now you can dictate messages instead of typing into any app. ipad3 keyboard microphone Dragon NaturallySpeaking Versus iPad Dictation   Which One Is Better? This little button is a big deal. Sure, Dragon NaturallySpeaking has a free Dragon dictation app on the iPad and iPhone, which does voice-recognition, but the Dragon dictation app only lets you speak into the Dragon dictation app. Then, you have to copy and paste your transcribed words into the app that you really wanted to use (i.e. calendar, notes, Twitter, etc.) With iPad dictation, you can speak into your iPad (in any app) just by touching the microphone button. iPad dictation is only available on the new iPad three. (The little microphone button doesn’t show up on the iPad 2.) Before we get too far into this post, you should know that your voice data and contact data gets sent to Apple (or potentially, Dragon NaturallySpeaking.)
  • If you use iPad dictation, your iPad will send Apple your voice data and other personal information “such as your first name and nickname; the names, nicknames, and relationship with you (example “my dad”) of your address book contacts; and song names in your collection.” Something to think about.
  • In comparison, Dragon dictation does send your voice data to their servers, but it you can opt out of sending your contact name data. When you install Dragon dictation on your iPad, you get a screen asking you if it’s okay to add your contact names to the vocabulary. If you click yes, then Dragon will upload your contact names to the server and link it to your device ID. If you click no, then Dragon will not read your address book and it will not upload any names to the server. (You can also go into the Dragon dictation settings and turn off the setting called “recognize names.”)

So how accurate is iPad dictation?

bigstock Stones  1055510 300x200 Dragon NaturallySpeaking Versus iPad Dictation   Which One Is Better?How does the new iPad dictation voice recognition software compare to the free Dragon dictation iPad app or Dragon NaturallySpeaking on your PC? Let’s find out:

Using the rainbow passage to figure out which voice-recognition software is better: iPad dictation, Dragon Dictation iPad app, or Dragon NaturallySpeaking on the computer.

I read the rainbow passage into the new iPad (notes app) while wearing my Bluetooth headset so I could dictate directly into Dragon NaturallySpeaking on my computer at the same time. Afterwards, I read the rainbow passage into the new iPad using the Dragon dictation iPad app.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking on the computer was 98.8% accurate in writing down the correct words.
  • iPad dictation got 92.8% of the words correct.
  • The Dragon dictation app (on the new iPad) got 88.9% of the words correct.In a previous post, I found that the Dragon dictation iPad app got 92% of the words in the post correct. (Compare that to Dragon NaturallySpeaking on the computer, which got 98% of the words correct and was a lot quicker to transcribe.)
There are normally 335 words in the rainbow passage that I use, although I had to reread two sentences when I was using the Dragon Dictation app. If you look below, you can see the type of mistakes that the different voice recognition software made.

Word Mistakes made by Dragon NaturallySpeaking, iPad Dictation, and Dragon Dictation iPad App

Rainbow passage as heard by Dragon NaturallySpeaking. (5 word errors – 98.8% Word Accuracy)

Rainbow Passage as heard by Dragon Naturally Speaking thumb1 Dragon NaturallySpeaking Versus iPad Dictation   Which One Is Better?
  1. looking for a pot of gold = looking for pot of gold (1 word error)
  2. The Norse men consider = The Norseman consider (2 word errors)
  3. the gods passed from Earth = the gods pass from Earth (1 word error)
  4. superposition of a number of bows = superposition of a number of bows (1 word error)

Rainbow passage as heard by iPad dictation. (24 word errors – 92.8% Word Accuracy; 1 PUNCTUATION ERROR = 92.5% TOTAL ACCURACY)

Rainbow Passage as heard by Dragon Dictation on iPad 3 thumb Dragon NaturallySpeaking Versus iPad Dictation   Which One Is Better?
  1. they act like a prism = the act like a prism (1 word error)
  2. These take the shape of a long round arch = Please take the shape of the long round arch (2 word errors)
  3. its two ends apparently beyond the horizon = it’s to Ann’s apparently be on the horizon (4 word errors)
  4. beyond his reach = be on his reach (1 word error)
  5. looking for a pot of gold = looking for pot of gold (1 word error)
  6. Some have accepted it as a miracle = Some of excepted as a miracle (3 word errors)
  7. there would be = there will be (1 word error)
  8. The Norse men consider the rainbow as a bridge = The Norseman consider the rain was a bridge (4 word errors)
  9. the gods passed from Earth = the gods pass from Earth (1 word error)
  10. the sun’s rays = the suns ray (1 punctuation error)
  11. physicists have found that it is = physicists have found it is (1 word error)
  12. The actual primary rainbow observed is said to be the effect of super position = The actual primary rainbow observed he said to be the effective superposition (3 word errors)
  13. when mixed formed yellow = when next form yellow (2 word errors)

Rainbow passage as heard by Dragon Dictation app on the new iPad 3 (42 word errors out of 380 words – 88.9% Word Accuracy; 4 PUNCTUATION ERROR = 87.9% TOTAL ACCURACY)

I had to reread two sentences because the Dragon dictation iPad app stopped halfway through to begin transcribing. That’s why there are more words in this version of the rainbow passage. Rainbow Passage as heard by Dragon Dictation on iPad 3 thumb1 Dragon NaturallySpeaking Versus iPad Dictation   Which One Is Better?
  1. ey act like a prism =  the act like a prism (1 word error)
  2.  These take the shape =  Please take the shape (1 word error)
  3.  its two ends =  its two hands (1 word error; 1 punctuation error)
  4. beyond the horizon = be on the horizon (1 word error)
  5.  he is looking =  hes looking (1 punctuation error)
  6. used to imagine =  used to Madison (1 word error)
  7. a sign from the gods to foretell war =  a sign from the gods foretell war (1 word error)
  8. or heavy rain. =  or have you read (2 word errors; 1 punctuation error)
  9. The Greeks used to imagine = Big meets you so nice in (5 word errors)
  10. a sign from the gods to foretell war =  a sign for the cost for total war (4 word errors)
  11. The Norse men consider the rainbow as a bridge =  The Norseman consider the rainbow is a bridge (2 word errors)
  12. the gods passed from Earth = the gods pass from Earth (1 word error)
  13. Aristotle thought that the rainbow = Aristotle thought that the rain (1 word errors)
  14. the suns rays = the suns rays (1 punctuation error)
  15. but refraction by the raindrops =  but the fraction by the raindrops (1 word error)
  16. about the rainbow have been formed. = about the regal had informed. (4 word errors)
  17.  is said to be the effect of super position of a number of bows. =  to sit to be defective superposition of the number of bows. (6 word errors)
  18. If the red =  If the rent (1 word error)
  19. the second bow falls upon green of the first =  the second hopefuls on green of the first (3 word errors)
  20.  to give a bow = forgivable (4 word errors)
  21. If the red of the second bow falls = If the red of the second oh falls (1 word error)
  22. when mixed formed yellow. = when mixed form yellow. (1 word error)

This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Premium Wireless. What is Dragon NaturallySpeaking?

An unknown error occured. (ID: 3)
  • There are 559 words in this post (not including the word mistake section – I copy and pasted that stuff in.) Dragon made 8 word errors. So, we had an accuracy of 98.6% in this document.
  • If you include punctuation and capitalization errors, Dragon made an additional 7 punctuation and capitalization errors. So, we had an accuracy of 97.3% in this document.

Photo Credit: Big Stock Photo – Stones 4 (1055510)

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Myself April 10, 2012, 5:37 AM

    With all respect, not all these ‘errors’ are probably not ‘real’ errors. Voice decoding on all these programs are subject to CPU load and available bandwidth. You might pronounce words a little differently each time too, so fair comparison is more than just a side by side test.

    Moreover some errors are the same between programs. E.g. all translators the word ‘superposition’ is used correctly. In contemporary literature the word probably will be rendered this way, NOT as ‘super position’ as in the original text.

    Fundamental errors like this will confuse translators which have here done a good job of translating most words correctly.

    The real lesson is DON’T use apple software and expect any privacy. Actually the real lesson is don’t get an iPad. Get something that doesn’t harvest your private info every time you power it up.

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology April 11, 2012, 8:49 PM

      I don’t disagree with you.

      1. Voice decoding accuracy definitely depends on the power of your computer, but not necessarily bandwidth since a program like Dragon Naturally Speaking on your computer can be used offline and doesn’t require connection to their servers.

      2) I tested the iPad dictation and the Dragon Naturally Speaking on the PC at the same time by speaking at the new iPad 3 while wearing my bluetooth headset connected to my computer, so it’s the same voice sample (although the location of the microphones are different.) I did the Dragon Dictation accuracy test afterwards, so you’re right – they’re different voice samples and I probably did pronounce the words a little differently the second time around. I wonder if there’s a way for me to record the Rainbow passage once and just play it back using my stereo system. The problem is that I know the position of the bluetooth headset makes a difference in Dragon Naturally Speaking. Maybe I’ll play around with it.

      3) I debated on what to do with ‘superposition’ and ‘super position,’ but I wanted to be consistent with the way I marked the accuracy errors in other comparison tests that I’ve done. If I could go back a year and a half ago when I first started to use the Rainbow Passage to test Dragon Naturally Speaking, I probably should have just ignored that error. If anything, the voice recognition software above is probably slightly more accurate than the numbers reported if you ignore mistakes like ‘super position’

      4) I know you’re not a fan of iPads and Apple software. You could always disable the iPad dictation feature so that it’s not harvesting your contact information when you turn it on.

      Reply

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