The interface for Nuance's dictation software is simple and it is very easy to get to grips with the software and how to use it. Creating a profile for your language preference and going through voice training helps the system to learn how you pronounce words and is accurate for the majority of the time allowing you to be more productive.
I am using Dragon Professional Individual for Mac, version 6.
The number of applications that the software works well with is pretty small. Nuance's main page states boldly that it the software is great for writing documents, working in spreadsheets, creating emails and surfing the web. It isn't until you get the manual that you discover just which programs it works well with, and Microsofts Excel and Powerpoint aren't two of them.
As with any piece of software, there is a learning curve. The difference here is that using it is simple and straight-forward and the learning curve primarily comes from the software becoming familiar with your writing styles.
It also depends on what operating system you are using the Dragon software. Windows based machines have had a versatile interaction with the dictation software for many years and it works with many more programs than it does on Mac systems. So if you are using a Macbook then you need to have the latest version of Nuance's dictation software to have anything near a decent experience.
When you choose to buy the software, make sure you also download a copy of the user manual which can be found in the Resource Library as this will provide a valuable aid in how to improve your use of the software and methods of navigating the many commands that it has. While the software does have an inbuilt command list which can be displayed on the screen, there are things in the user guide that make using the software easier and explain what those functions do.
The Mac's version of the software does glitch from time to time. Sometimes this is down to pronunciation, and other times the cursor jumps to a different location within the document. According to Nuance, this will happen in programs that don't support both text and voice entry. However, it does also happen in the 'supported' applications as well.
Overall, you have to be patient while it learns from you and supplying it other documents that you have produced will aid in its learning. Like anything that learns, it will make mistakes (as do we) but its accuracy does increase with each time that you use it.
The initial price tag of £249.99 (Oct-2017) seems high at first but if you make the effort to set up the profile and train the software to your way of writing then the amount of time that can be saved compared to typing is incalcuable.
I am a writer and using Speech recognition software allows me to write that much faster than if I am typing. I also find that sometimes I like to pace when I am thinking and speaking through an idea and not being tied to a keyboard allows me to do this regardless of whether I am using a corded or cordless headset.
Another advantage is that I can dictate parts of my book into any recording app on any phone and then have the software listen and convert those recordings to my documents, saving time in having to either listen and repeat them myself or having to type them up at a later date.
Overall, I find that I am producing more work efficiently and that it helps me to think proactively about the language I need to use when writing.