If you’ve been using Siri on your iPhone 4S over the past month, you’re probably starting to get used to having a personal assistant within easy reach. Voice control may be built into that phone, but the software’s not cheap. The big voice recognition developer is Nuance, whose technology powers many other voice control apps. Nuance’s own Dragon Dictate application starts at $180, but thankfully, the company has introduced a new title that offers a lot of the same benefits at a much lower price: Dragon Express ($50*).
Like so many other apps these days, Dragon Express lives in your menu bar. When you’re ready to use it, you simply click on the icon or use a hotkey to launch the dictation window. Then start talking, and your words show up on the screen; unlike Siri, Dragon Express does all the processing on your Mac, so you don’t need to worry about a network connection. From there, you can just speak the name of the application where you want to send the text, including Twitter, Facebook, or a handful of others. Of course, Express does have limitations when compared to Dragon Dictate: you can’t dictate directly into applications like Pages or Word; instead, you transcribe to Express, and then can send the text from there. It’s an inconvenience, but for the lower price, it may be worth it. Nuance says the $50 price is only available for a limited time, so if you think you’ll get use out of the app, you’ll want to check the Mac App Store now.