MacSpeech Inc. unveiled a new update to its well regarded speech recognition application for the Mac today. The release of version 1.3, available immediately by download, has some significant enhancements and fixes. To test this new release, I've dictated this review into our browser-based content management system without much trouble. I had to correct a couple of uncommon words, but that is easily done in the spelling mode.
One of the interesting features of the new version is a 'cache document' command that will allow MacSpeech to read a document's contents in order to navigate that document, and to enter and edit text. This improves MacSpeech Dictate's ability to work with any document, including documents not created with the program itself. MacSpeech has also greatly improved the help system and added several visual enhancements that will allow users to see the status of the program and the mode it's operating in.
The new 'press the key' command will input a specific keyboard key. This allows using modifier keys, such as Control, Option, and Command. MacSpeech Dictate has always had a strong speech recognition engine, but was sometimes weak in the software that surrounded it. Early on, the company distributed some bad install disks, but that was quickly remedied.
MacSpeech Dictate requires an Intel-based Macintosh computer with a minimum of OS X 10.4 .11 or 10.5 .2 or higher. Here is a link to more details of the update.
MacSpeech Dictate had its last update in November of 2008, when version 1.2.1 was released. Existing users of the program will be prompted to do the update the next time MacSpeech launches. In my case, the update worked well, and without incident.
MacSpeech Dictate is US $199.00 direct from the developer or at retail including the Apple online and brick and mortar stores.