Apple updates Dictation for Mac users in OS X Mavericks

“One of the lesser known features of Mavericks is an upgrade to the Dictation Software,” Daryl McCartney reports for Amsys. “In 10.8 Dictation was available but required an internet connection so that it could contact Apple Servers to translate speech to text.”

“In Mavericks, Apple have added Enhanced Dictation which is a worthwhile initial 490MB approximate download which gives you the ability to have offline Dictation,” McCartney reports. “Even better, the translation is almost instant and because it is done locally you can live edit the dictated speech.”

McCartney reports, “Unlike dictation in 10.8, when using enhanced dictation, you aren’t limited to a 30 second recording.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. It works surprisingly well!

    If a Windows program is hosted in Citrix, you can even make that use dictation. But you have to turn on Keyboard > International > Use Client IME. I was amazed to discover that. Now if only you could edit the dictionary used by the dictation to add medical words….

    1. I agree with your last sentence whole-heartedly.

      In addition, as I’ve said numerous times on this forum – if Apple really wants the iPad mini to take off in the medical field (and it’s absolutely perfect for it), they need to improve the dictionary so it will autocomplete medical terms. Currently, it either doesn’t recognize the word (not that bad – you just need to type it out) or it tries to autocorrect it to something else (kinda annoying).

      1. It’s a kludge for sure but you could add a glossary of special words (as a group, say) into your contacts list, i.e. one word per contact. Tested this, out of curiosity, for a couple of chemistry terms and it worked but ‘mileage may vary’

        1. Interesting, enzos, interesting.
          I thought about using the shortcuts feature in iOS but never this. I would be unwieldy though. The number of medical terms is WAY over anything I would ever want to type out or define in any way.

          1. Idea: hey, but what if someone, or a couple of people, or if an app was created that let one easily input a Group list of special medical words?
            The app could be a “Group Contact”, for example, that already had all the medical words in it, listed as a name or names in a group.
            Isn’t there a standard agreed-upon medical dictionary or word list that exists somewhere?
            And, if the Notes field could be able to hold the words, separated by commas, does dictation search the Notes field? (Or would the medical words have to be in a different field other than the Notes field?)

            1. Kinda kludgy. Is there an API for dictation in Mavericks? Lots of medical dictionaries are available. It should not be that difficult to write an automator script to turn the dictionary text to something that Mavericks can read.

  2. I would like to add an academic dictionary to the apple dictionary app. The dictionary is unable to find a lot of academic words.
    Is this possible? I can’t find a dictionary to download, or it cost too much. I am thinking to just add a web site to include in the search.

    Any thoughts? Help?

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