OS X Mavericks Dictation vs. Dragon Dictate: How good is your Mac’s built-in tool?

Dragon Dictate for Mac 3“In OS X Mavericks, you now have the option of downloading a file that supports offline dictation,” David Sparks reports for Macworld. “To set it up, you go to the Dictation & Speech pane in System Preferences and tick the Use Enhanced Dictation box. That causes the file to download”

“Having this transcription-support file on your Mac dramatically improves the functionality of OS X’s built-in Dictation feature. Now, when you press the Fn key twice and start speaking, the words appear on screen as you speak,” Sparks reports. “But Mac dictation isn’t new to Mavericks. I’ve been dictating to computers for a long time. (When I first started dictating, you … had … to … talk … like … this … leaving … a … space … between … each … word.) My usual tool is Dragon Dictate for Mac. So when I heard that Apple was improving the Dictation tool in OS X, my first question was: How will it compare to Dragon?”

“The way I see it, Mavericks’s Dictation tool is like Dragon Dictate Lite,” Sparks reports. “The Mavericks tool’s best feature is the ability to activate it anywhere on my Mac and immediately start dictating; I’m using it in all sorts of unexpected places on my Mac. Dragon Dictate is not as easy to get working in any context, but when you need to dictate long passages of text, its increased accuracy makes it the clear choice.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. I’ve been using this feature for some time with great results. With the enhanced dictation it works even better.

    I own Dragon dictation and have used it for years. nowadays however I rarely use it as the built-in dictation on the Mac works just fine.

  2. Forget about how well those dictation software works, what we really need to know is why no one is examining the Dictabelt recordings from November 22, 1963. Those recordings may have had clear evidence of someone being on the grassy knoll, but because “audio experts” claim that the recordings aren’t clear enough, you might as well ignore it. Those Dictabelts may have saved an innocent man from Jack Ruby…

    1. They were examined as recently as this year, in a recently released UVA analysis based on AIFF files obtained from the National Archives. The analyst’s conclusion was that the motorcycle whose radio produced the recordings was not part of the motorcade and thus would not have picked up sound from the grassy knoll.

    2. There has been a lot of cover-up of the assassination, not just audio tapes and 8 mm movies. One physician who attempted an independent examination of President Kennedy’s corpse was told that his brain had been ‘lost’. Right. The physician pointed out that the military did the autopsy, and the two MDs chosen had no (N-O) experience with deaths by shooting. This physician had that experience, but was told there was no brain for him to examine for any determination of death by shooting. Thus the mysterious ‘magic bullet’ faerie tale could not be disputed.

      As for Lee Harvey Oswald being innocent, how would we ever know?

      Meanwhile, we have plenty of proof of who ACTUALLY killed 3000+ people on 9/11. But nothing is being done to put the culprits in prison. Instead we sit at the trough of propaganda a lap it up.

      No tin foil hat required. Facts are required.

  3. Nuance, the owners of Dragon Dictate, license their speech-to-text technology to Apple. That’s a known fact, although Nuance refuses to go into any further detail.

    IOW: There is no rivalry here. There is LICENSING IP here.
    IOW: Both Apple and Nuance benefit. There is no rivalry.

    Here’s a relevant article from 2011, as I commented at the source article:

    Siri, Do You Use Nuance Technology? Siri: I’m Sorry, I Can’t Answer That

    …So I decided to ask the representative directly: is Nuance powering the new Siri feature? The only thing said in response: “Apple licenses Nuance’s voice technology for use in some of its products.” Followed by, ”The company is not authorized to comment on specific capabilities or devices.”

  4. Can both Dragon Dictate and Mac Dictate be used on same MacBook? I would like to use Mac at rushed moments at work but Dragon at the end of the day for complete commentary.

  5. I’m researching Dragon Dictate, and was excited to learn about Apple’s enhanced dictation — until I read this, in the privacy info in system prefs>dictate:

    “When you use the keyboard dictation feature on your computer, the things you dictate will be recorded and sent to Apple to convert what you say into text. Your computer will also send Apple other information, such as your first name and nickname; and the names, nicknames, and relationship with you (for example, “my dad”) of your address book contacts. All of this data is used to help the dictation feature understand you better and recognize what you say. Your User Data is not linked to other data that Apple may have from your use of other Apple services. “

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