Free Dragon Dictate for iPhone: Not 100% Accurate, But Definitely 100% Awesome

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I’ve been waiting for a good speech recognition app for a mobile platform for a long time. So, I couldn’t have been more pleased to learn that (a) speech technology market leader Nuance introduced such an app for the iPhone and (b) the app is free…

Dragon Dictation 1.0.0 (iTunes App Store)

You can see the result of my first Dragon Dictation test in the screen shot above. It did a good job of transcribing my speech in this short test. It omitted just one word (“on” an iPhone 3G), figured out what to capitalize pretty well, but missed punctuation entirely. It didn’t do as well in a second test where I composed a multi-sentence email. However, the app provides an easy to use keyboard editor to make spot fixes. This lets you correct transcription problems before sending it as an email or text message. You can also copy it to a clipboard for use with other iPhone apps. I’m looking forward to testing Dragon Dictate with Evernote’s iPhone app. This could be the app combination of the year.

I’m very impressed by Dragon Dictate’s results so far. My only question is: Why was this released as a free app? What is Nuance’s business model?

Via TUAW: Dragon Dictation comes to the iPhone. Wow.