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Dragon adds Recorder app for time-shifted desktop dictation

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It's all about speech on the iPhone 4S, from the systemwide dictation features to the inscrutable but very helpful Siri assistant. The fine folks at Nuance (suppliers of some of the underlying IP that powers the 4S voice savvy) have made a big move into the mobile space; the company already has a suite of iOS apps that cover several speech-related functions.

There's Dragon Dictation for text entry, Dragon Go! and Search for finding what you need, Dragon for SalesForce to work with your CRM system, two Dragon Medical apps for search and recording, and the Dragon Remote Mic app that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a networked microphone for the company's desktop dictation apps (Dragon Dictate for Mac or NaturallySpeaking for Windows). Now there's another member of this growing family: the Dragon Recorder app.

Dragon Recorder is a free and straightforward voice recording app designed to pair with the company's transcription software; on the Mac, that means the $150 MacSpeech Scribe application. You can use Recorder to record your voice (only yours; Scribe and its Windows sister product are speaker-dependent) on the go, and then easily transfer the recordings via sync or Wi-Fi browser sharing for later transcription.

Of course, you could use the built-in Voice Memos application to achieve much the same result, but you wouldn't get the Wi-Fi sharing feature. Then again, if you're planning to do a lot of mobile dictation, I'd recommend picking up Irradiated Software's drop-dead easy DropVox for $1.99 -- forget transferring your files by sync or by click, they'll just show up automatically in your Dropbox folder ready for transcription. (There's no step 3.)

It remains to be seen how much of an impact the new on-device dictation capabilities will have on the pro-level dictation and transcription software market, but if you're already a MacSpeech Scribe user then it's worth giving Recorder a try... that is, if you're not already feeling silly talking to Siri.

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