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Topic Title: Alternatives to Dragon Dictate for the Mac OSX community
Topic Summary: Time to give up on Nuance and Dragon Dictate? What alternatives are there?
Created On: 11/07/2017 05:08 AM
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 11/07/2017 05:08 AM
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David Cairns
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I have version 6.0.8 of Dragon Dictate which, as others here have found, is all but useless. So much so that I have bought Parallels in order to run Windows on my MacPro and install Naturally Speaking for heavy dictation/transcription jobs into Word and other Office 365 apps. 

I find switching between Windows and OSX tedious but a better option than using Dragon Dictate. My question to this knolwedgeable community is whether there is any viable alternative to Dragon Dictate for OSX machines?

David Cairns

 11/07/2017 05:58 AM
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BPierce
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Following. I also gave up on Dragon Dictate on MacOs but haven't got around to installing Windows and Dragon for Windows and learning all the hassles that entails. I haven't found any other good options FWIW.
 11/15/2017 10:50 AM
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JerryL
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I also installed Parallels and the Windows version of DPI 15 about a month ago. It takes an extra minute to launch Parallels, true, but that is nothing compared to the DAYS or WEEKS I wasted over the past three years trying to get Dictate to work on the Mac. I'm still confused why Nuance couldn't have done a better job with Dictate.
 11/15/2017 12:33 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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We can't guarantee the following answer but we suspect that Nuance only puts a fraction of the time into Mac development as for Windows development because that's where the money is. There are probably a lot of reasons but keep in mind that the Mac OS takes up 8% of computers while Windows is used on 91% of computers. For this reason, Mac is typically overlooked entirely or merely an afterthought for developers.



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 11/17/2017 12:50 AM
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alexander
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Just curious, why are you staying with the Mac? Have you considered switching to Windows?
 01/15/2018 11:54 AM
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David Cairns
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In 2009 I started to work as an independent researcher. I needed something with a powerful processor and a lot of RAM to run SQL-based qualitative research software (QSR NVivo -- it's v good). I could not afford to lug round a Dell Alienware (no-one would take me seriously) and I couldn't justify a desktop and a laptop -- so I bought a MacBook Pro, specified to the max, and ran Windows 7, NVivo and DNS on it via Bootcamp. It worked fine for me and subsequently I stuck with MacBook Pros. But I wouldn't make the same choice now....
 01/15/2018 06:29 PM
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ericnixmd
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I gave up on the Mac version and switched to DMPE 2.3. Haven't regretted it since. Better recognition and a ton more features. Turns out, some days I like Windows 10 better than macOS. Would consider switching all together but I'm engrained into the Apple ecosystem (iPhone, iPad, AppleTV's, etc.), which is exactly where Apple wants a customer. For most things I still use my MacBook Pro. My Dell Precision 3520 (Xeon 3.1 GHz with Turbo to 4.0 GHz, 32 GB ECC RAM, 15" screen, 1 TB SSD) screams! Way overkill for DMPE, but I like it.
 01/16/2018 01:00 AM
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hmm
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I use Boot Camp to run Dragon professional individual 15, SpeechStart+, and Knowbrainer 2017 on my maxed out 2017 MacBook Pro and it runs quite smoothly. However, I first tried to use it on a virtual machine and it had many hiccups especially SppechStart+. The only annoying thing about this route is that you have to restart your computer anytime you want to switch between Windows 10 and Mac OS.
 01/16/2018 08:35 PM
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ericnixmd
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DPI for Mac crashes whenever I try to dictate into Word. Still hasn't resolved. I'm running whatever latest Word edition there is (Office 365 subscriber) with macOS High Sierra.

I don't think there is a dictation window to dictate into and then transfer text with DPI for Mac.
 07/12/2018 03:34 PM
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NMdn
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Unfortunately, Dragon Individual Professional for Mac version 6 does not work properly with most text programs. I have tried a bunch of them. The most stable text program to use is Apple's TextEdit. The next stable programs are Microsoft Word 2016 and Google Docs  using the Chromebrowser. Dictating into Firefox works reasonably well also. I do not use Safari with Google Docs.

Scrivener version 2 works more or less as well. The cache document command has to be used frequently. Scrivener version 3 does not work. Apple Pages does not work either.  Neither do Nisus Writer, Libre Office, and Mellel.

The only reasonable way to use Dragon on the Mac that I found is by using a headset microphone that keeps both of my hands free for typing and for correcting mistakes immediately. Otherwise, the opportunity to train the program will be lost. Trying to use Dragon for selecting text and correcting previous mistakes generally makes a royal mess of your document.

I am not aware of any other alternative than Apple's own dictation, which makes more errors than Dragon. However, you can use VMware Fusion, for example, to run Microsoft Windows on the Macintosh, which in turn can run the Windows versions of Dragon.

I hope that helps.



 08/03/2018 04:52 PM
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MTUser2007
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It is really sad to be using Dragon 5.0.5 for Mac and be considering purchasing version 6.0 to come here and find such a dismal report. Even though version 5 does not work very well at least it works. After reviewing the various threads, I'll just stick with what I have. I am both a Windows and Mac user so I have and enjoy DNS. But I find it very simple to work with a MacBook Pro hence my preference for a functional Mac alternative. I do understand the economic argument, also the argument about the prevalence of Mac versus Windows machines. But, you would think if you offer a product that the company would at least try to make it work especially as it is $150 for an upgrade from version 5 to version 6.
 08/03/2018 05:08 PM
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ericnixmd
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Nuance must be focusing their efforts on cloud-based dictation instead of improving their software.
 08/07/2018 11:19 PM
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oddjob
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Siri's getting pretty good so you could just use that if you want real-time transcription. I've detailed my workflow on the forum a few times, but I basically use anything with a mic (my iPhone) that dumps recordings to Dropbox linked to both my Mac and PC. The PC sees it (via Dragon's AutoTranscribe Folder Agent), then dumps the result in another dropbox folder which I open and edit on the mac (the .wav files are still in the original folder for reference).

-------------------------

Win 7 i5: Dragon Professional Individual 14 w. Blue Yeti Mic
Win 7 C2D: Auto Transcribe Folder Agent (remotely using iPad / Dictate + Connect app / Buddy FlamingoMic 7G)

 09/30/2018 10:08 PM
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NMdn
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I know of one practice that is switching to SayIt from nVoq (https://sayit.nvoq.com/) after testing and comparing with Dragon (not sure which version). It is a subscription/cloud-based solution but platform independent and cheaper than Dragon 360. The underlying technology from hearsay is licensed Microsoft speech engine based.



 10/01/2018 10:37 AM
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Lunis Orcutt
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We have done a little nVoq investigating and in our opinion, it's not worth your time; other than being less expensive than DMPE 4.3 or DMO. “Less expensive” is not what most hospitals are looking for when they want what will increase their efficiency the most. Also keep in mind that you're not comparing SayIt to Medical 360 which is 5 years out of date. You're comparing it to the Dragon 15 speech engine which is vastly superior. SayIt also doesn't support Advanced-Scripting commands which is also being kicked up an additional notch with open-ended vocabulary command support (think AI). SayIt is currently so small that Nuance isn't suing them over patent infringement but should they manage to become much bigger, we suspect Nuance will go after them as they have done with M*Modal. In our opinion, it's not worth the risk or savings.



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 10/01/2018 11:21 AM
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ericnixmd
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I wonder if there will be a macOS version of DMO.
 10/01/2018 11:38 AM
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Lunis Orcutt
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It's hard to say, with certainty but Nuance just discontinued and removed their single-user license of the Dragon Medical version for the Mac, which was also one version behind. The email we received from Nuance states that they have discontinued manufacturing and supporting Dragon Medical for Mac computers but will continue their consumer division. In reality, the Dragon Medical version was basically a consumer version of Dragon with medical vocabularies. However, DMO works a little differently so we are not certain



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 12/01/2018 06:03 PM
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viewfrom13
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Apparently Nuance has also given up on Dragon for Mac:
https://www.nuance.com/dragon/support/professional-individual-for-mac-eol.html

It's a shame, because I have finally come to an uneasy truce with Dragon 6, after years of developing hacks and workarounds. I did a quick (and fruitless) search for decent dictation alternatives on macOS. I've never been able to get DNS to run in a virtual machine on my MacBook Pro, and the IT department made me kill my Boot Camp partition for security reasons. So it looks like my days on a Mac are numbered. Maybe it's just as well, since I find the new keyboards on MacBooks to be offensive...

Originally posted by: ericnixmd Nuance must be focusing their efforts on cloud-based dictation instead of improving their software.


That's exactly right, based on discussions I've had with Nuance insiders. Unfortunately the cloud-based AI solutions are still far from catching up to local applications for serious dictation.

Best of health,
Shawn



 12/02/2018 12:55 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Nuance may have originally planned on continuing the consumer DPI6 version of Dragon for Mac but decided to 86 it 3 weeks after 86ing Dragon Medical. Nuance probably couldn't justify the R&D cost of supporting Mac while developing other markets such as cloud computing on Windows and independent versions of AI. Developing anything on the Mac side tends to be far less profitable and typically receives less attention. Dragon versions for Mac were accurate but much less featured than the Windows versions. From watching television, you would think that the Mac OS is used on half of desktop, notebook and tablet computers but it's actually less than 10%. Windows dominates the market with an 88% share so that's where the money is. Most software developers either ignore the Mac market or look at the Mac OS as an afterthought. For example, KnowBrainer 2017 was never designed to run on a Mac. Thank goodness we didn't waste our time since Nuance pulled the plug anyway. Oddly enough, speech recognition sales simply didn't amount to a hill of beans. Our Mac sales averaged about .2% of our Dragon sales but we suspect this will eventually be a problem for Mac computer sales because at some point, everyone is going to be seriously using speech recognition. Even if you only dictate, no one can type 180 wpm and dictation is only the tip of the speech recognition iceberg.

As you pointed out, Nuance is struggling with many cloud computing capabilities that are only available on local installations such as Advanced-Scripting and AI like macros. We would like to see Nuance switch to a hybrid variation that is primary localized like Microsoft Office 365. This would take considerably less development and might just make everyone happy. Most Dragon end-users simply don't want cloud computing capabilities but there are some advantages.



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 06/11/2019 08:12 AM
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BPierce
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While I have a couple of virtual machines to run DPI, my business is Mac based.  I'm curious about using the built in MacOS dictation if Apple improves it.

In the publicity for the new MacOS Catalina, I note this and wonder if anyone has tried the beta for this yet:

 

Accessibility

Voice Control

Voice Control is a new way to fully control your Mac, iPadOS, and iOS devices entirely with your voice.

Accurate dictation

Voice Control improves on the existing Enhanced Dictation feature using the Siri speech recognition engine [fn], so you get the latest advances in machine learning for audio-to-text transcription.

Add custom words

Whether you’re writing a biology report, filling out a legal document, or emailing about a favorite topic, you can add custom words to ensure that Voice Control recognizes the words you commonly use.

On-device processing

All audio processing for Voice Control happens on your device, ensuring that your personal data is kept private.

Rich text editing

Thanks to rich text editing commands, you don’t have to rehearse before you speak. Making corrections is quick and easy. You can replace phrases by name. Try saying “Replace I’m almost there with I just arrived.” Fine-grained selection also makes it simple to select text. Try saying “Move up two lines. Select previous word. Capitalize that.”

Word and emoji suggestions

If you need to correct a word, there’s a new interface just for that. Simply ask to correct a word, and you’ll be presented with a list of suggested replacements.

Seamless transitions from dictation to commands

Voice Control understands contextual cues, so you can seamlessly transition between text dictation and commands. For example, say “Happy Birthday. Tap send.” in Messages, and Voice Control sends “Happy Birthday” — just as you intended. You can also say “delete that”, and Voice Controls knows to delete what you just typed.

Comprehensive app navigation

You can rely entirely on your voice to navigate an app. Comprehensive navigation is provided by navigation commands, names of accessibility labels, numbers, and grids.

Navigation commands

Navigation commands give you quick ways to interact with macOS and apps. You can open apps, search the web, open Spotlight, and more.

Names

You can easily navigate by telling Voice Control to select the name of an accessibility label for buttons, links, and more.

Numbers

Say “show numbers” to see numbers appear next to all clickable items onscreen. Use this to quickly navigate complex or unfamiliar apps. Numbers automatically appear in menus and whenever you need to disambiguate between items with the same name. Just say a number to click it.

Grids

If you ever need to touch a part of the screen that doesn’t have a control, use Grid overlays. Saying “show grid” superimposes a grid on your screen and allows you to precisely do things, like select, zoom, drag, and more.

Hover Text

Hover Text displays high-resolution zoom of text, text fields, menu items, buttons, and more in a dedicated window. Just press the Control key when hovering over text with your cursor, and a window with zoomed text appears alongside the standard interface — helping you stay contextually aware. Text is crisply displayed in a font and color of your choice. And you can interact with buttons and type right in the zoomed window.

Zoom your second display

While using a second display, you can see the same screen up close and at a distance simultaneously. You can keep one monitor zoomed in and another at a standard resolution. Or keep a personal Mac zoomed in while giving a presentation.

Simplified tab navigation

VoiceOver users will enjoy simplified keyboard navigation that requires less drilling into unique focus groups. The Tab key more simply advances through selection of elements — such as window stoplights, toolbar buttons, and scroll bars.

New Siri voice for VoiceOver and Speech

Users who prefer the natural-sounding Siri voice can now select it in Accessibility preferences for VoiceOver and Speech.

Punctuation in iCloud

VoiceOver users often customize the way punctuation marks are spoken. These customizations are now stored in iCloud, giving you a consistent experience across macOS, iPadOS, and iOS.

Additional international braille tables

macOS Catalina adds more international braille tables and lets you quickly switch between them.

Improved VoiceOver support in Xcode

VoiceOver now reads aloud warnings, line numbers, and break points in the Xcode text editor.

Display color filters

Users with color vision deficiencies can adjust display colors using new color filter options. Your Mac shifts the colors onscreen, helping you easily differentiate areas of confusion. And you can turn this preference on and off through the Accessibility Options pane using Command-Option-F5.

Tint your entire display

A new display option lets you tint your entire screen using a color of your choice. Some users may find that certain color tints help make text easier to read.
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