Dragon for OS X: A New Name
If you are familiar with Dragon® for Mac® speech recognition applications thus far, you may notice that Nuance® has changed the name of their non-medical speech recognition solution—again. We had Dragon Dictate for Mac v4, Dragon for Mac v5, and now Dragon Professional Individual for Mac v6.
This change matches the naming conventions in place on the Windows® side of things, e.g., Dragon Professional Individual 15. While the Mac and Windows applications still differ in a number of ways, there are some exciting improvements included in this latest version of Dragon for OS X. Let’s take a look.
And, for the sake of brevity, I will usually refer to Dragon Professional Individual for Mac v6 as “DPI for Mac v6” throughout the rest of this article.
Dragon System Requirements
If you have an older Mac, like I do, you’ll want to verify that it meets these standards. When a computer does not meet the minimum operating requirements for Dragon, you will notice slower performance from the application. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t run, though that is also a possibility. You may not even be able to install DPI for Mac v6 if your operating system isn’t up to date.
If you need help finding out if your computer meets the specifications below, click here.
Hardware and Operating System
DPI for Mac v6 is only supported to run on OS X 10.11, El Capitan. Remember, the Dragon application on the Mac is not the same as Dragon for Windows, and you cannot install them across platforms.
UPDATE: Dragon Professional Individual for Mac v6.0.1 and higher is now supported on OS X 10.12 Sierra!
- Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz
- Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 series processors are preferred
You must have at least 8GB of space available on your hard drive to install DPI for Mac v6 from a disc. If you are installing from a download, you will need 16GB of space.
You’ll need at least 4GB of RAM for this version of Dragon. If you plan on running multiple applications, or want a faster experience, 8GB or higher is the way to go.
Dragon for Mac Upgrades
You can purchase DPI for Mac v6 as an upgrade from either Dragon Dictate for Mac v4 or Dragon for Mac v5. Buying the upgrade is cheaper, and you can install it right over either of these versions.
Existing Dragon Profiles
If you have an existing Dragon for Mac profile from the above versions, you can upgrade it for use with DPI for Mac v6, as well.
Dragon Medical Speech Recognition
Like previous non-medical versions of Dragon on the Mac operating system, DPI for Mac v6 will not allow you to dictate into an EHR. You’ll need Dragon for Mac Medical v5 for that.
What Did They Change?
We’re going to review some of the changes made in DPI for Mac v6, though this isn’t an exhaustive list. First, we’ll look at some of the smaller updates that are included; then, we’ll expound on two of the biggest areas of advancement.
In DPI for Mac v6, Nuance has included support for major Mac applications. When we talk about “support” in this case, it means that Dragon has full text control in these programs. This control is important for ensuring that DPI for Mac v6 isn’t limited within that application, and can perform all normal functions properly. This includes the ability to dictate into any text field.
- Apple Pages
- Apple Keynote
- Apple Numbers
- Microsoft Outlook 2016
- Literature and Latte Scrivener
- Microsoft Word 2016 – This was supported in Dragon for Mac v5, but you can now dictate into headers and footers, footnotes, and comments.
One of the most helpful features Nuance added is an automatic backup of your custom commands and vocabulary. As a technician who works with Dragon users every day, I can tell you that this information gets lost a little too often. Kudos to Nuance!
There are some cool improvements to format recognition in DPI for Mac v6. Nuance paid special attention to some of the irregular elements you need to dictate, including numbers, email addresses, hyperlinks, and place names. You should have better accuracy when dictating these items.
Nuance has tinkered with the Status Window once again. If you have been using Dragon on the Mac since version four, you know that version five included some significant UI changes. In DPI for Mac v6, they’ve continued to focus on that Status Window, giving it a smaller shape and rearranging the buttons. They also made sure that the full text control indicator was easier to discern, and gave the Correction Window a redesign.
There are few tweaks included in DPI for Mac v6 that make Dragon smoother and more straightforward.
- The application starts up faster
- Microphone setup is a cinch
- Profile administration is less complicated
- A license pane has been added, for multiple license users
You now have a larger and more advanced set of online resources to consult when learning how to use Dragon Professional Individual for Mac v6. These include, but are not limited to:
- More tutorial videos
- Most-searched help items
- Troubleshooting tips
A New Dragon Speech Engine
Perhaps the biggest improvement made to DPI for Mac v6 is the inclusion of a new speech engine. If you don’t know what a speech engine is, think about your car’s engine. Just as it is central to your car’s performance capabilities, Dragon’s speech engine is central to its ability to accurately recognize your words and transcribe them on the page.
Nuance has redesigned their Mac speech engine to work off of the principal of deep learning, which relates to artificial intelligence research. What that means for you is that DPI for Mac v6 will recognize your speech even more quickly and accurately. You should expect to see a 15% improvement in accuracy compared to version five.
Not only is this new engine higher-performance, but it also has some new abilities. Because of its dependence on deep learning, the new speech engine has the capability to adapt to your voice in three unique ways:
- If you have an accent—and many of us do, however slight or heavy—the new engine will detect your speech inflections while you are talking. This allows Dragon to make changes on-the-fly and improve your accuracy.
- The same goes for background noise. If there are other people talking around you, the new engine can take that into account, so that it has less effect on your accuracy. In order for this feature to work properly, the volume of the conversations, or other noises, shouldn’t be excessive.
- DPI for Mac v6 changes its picture of your voice as you speak. It is training itself to understand you while you’re in the midst of a letter, email, or web search. This means that the application can provide real-time updates to your profile, translating to more accurate speech recognition results.
Nuance made several significant changes to the transcription process, ostensibly with a view towards augmenting its functionality and flexibility. So, if you dictate with a digital recorder or a smartphone, you’re going to be very happy with DPI for Mac v6.
- First, in case it slipped past you in the introduction, Dragon can now transcribe your smartphone You can dictate everything on your phone, if you prefer.
- All of the accuracy imparted by the new speech engine also applies to transcription.
- You don’t have to train DPI for Mac v6 with a 90 second file—either for your voice or someone else’s. If you remember that process, you will appreciate this update.
- Transcription sources are now added in Transcription Mode, rather than Manage Profiles.
- The user interface for transcription has received the same type of design attention as the Status Window.
- You now have the ability to transcribe in Batch Mode, a huge addition to your transcription functionality. Let’s break that down.
What Is Batch Mode?
Previously, when you needed to transcribe files, you would run them through Dragon one at a time. Now, with the improvements made to DPI for Mac v6, you can select all of the files you need to have transcribed, and then initiate the process. They’ll be transcribed in sequence, until your list of recordings is complete.
For professionals who do a lot of dictation, or for transcriptionists who handle a large number of recordings, this is a must-have.
Transcribing Someone Else’s Voice
Please be advised that Nuance documentation states:
“Transcription of third-party speakers may require an additional license for each unique speaker.”
According to Nuance, you will need additional licenses per speaker if you are “repeatedly transcribing other people’s recordings – such as within a law firm.”
Comparing DPI for Mac v6 and Dragon for Mac v5
Perhaps the best way to find out all of the differences between this new version of Dragon and the previous one is to review this feature matrix. That being said, we’ll list several of them below.
- 15% more accurate
- A new speech engine, with on-the-fly accuracy improvements
- More accurate with accents and noisy offices
- More accurate with formatting
- Transcription does not require training
- Transcription Batch Mode added
- Support for more Mac applications
- Microphone setup has been simplified
- New license pane
- UI and UX upgrades
- Automatic backup of commands and vocabulary
- DPI for Mac v6 starts up faster
- More resources in the Help Menu
Ready for DPI for Mac v6?
If you like what you see, and you want to purchase Dragon Professional Individual for Mac v6, we’d be happy to help facilitate that for you. Click here and provide your contact information, and we’ll make sure that you get in touch with a Dragon reseller in your area.
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