Voice-activated Dragon Go! delivers exactly what you ask for

Jul 18, 2011
Tech

Dragon Go! is the latest offering from Nuance Communications, the group behind the highly impressive speech-to-text app Dragon Dictation. Available for iPhones 3GS and 4, fourth-gen iPod Touch and iPad (although in 2x mode), Dragon Go! is a slick discovery engine — rather than recording your thoughts, Dragon Go! takes your speech queries and finds […]

Dragon Go! is the latest offering from Nuance Communications, the group behind the highly impressive speech-to-text app Dragon Dictation. Available for iPhones 3GS and 4, fourth-gen iPod Touch and iPad (although in 2x mode), Dragon Go! is a slick discovery engine — rather than recording your thoughts, Dragon Go! takes your speech queries and finds whatever you’re looking for across the Net with exacting results.

As long as Dragon Go! can understand you — and in the majority of my tests, the app was successful — it can provide information on whatever you’re looking for, and deliver the results in a smart, user-friendly way. Rather than searching specific keywords, Dragon Go! is able to find full verbal queries such as “movie times for ’Harry Potter’ ” or “directions to Kansas City.” The app will detect the end of your speech, and begin searching automatically. Its best results will be displayed front and center (so if you ask for something music-related the app will show Ticketmaster or iTunes results first), but if you want additional information, the app will also have completed the search in other tabs on its scrollable carousel, which includes windows for Wikipedia, Google, iTunes, YouTube and Twitter.

On the whole, this aspect of Dragon Go! isn’t very different than the existing speech integration of the Bing or Google apps, although I found its presentation of results to be superior. What Dragon Go! does differently, and where it truly excels, is in its app and website integration. If you ask the app for directions, it will launch them in your Maps app. If you tell it to call the Apple store, it will dial the location near you. Want to hear a band on Pandora? Ask for it, and if you have Pandora on your device, Dragon Go! will launch it for you. The app also offers integration with iPod, Last.fm and Yelp. Dragon Go! also features support for specific websites, so you can restrict your searches. The supported list is lengthy, and includes sites such as Amazon, CNN, Craigslist, ESPN and the Wall Street Journal.

Dragon Go! features a text bar, so you can type your query when talking isn’t convenient, or if the app is struggling with a particular word (it had trouble with both my name and  Appolicious, for instance). A pop-up tool bar is available for you to share URLs via email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter or to load in Safari.

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There’s nothing to lose in trying Dragon Go! — it and all of its features are free.

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