Dragon Express for Mac is available at the Mac App Store for users that are currently running the Lion OS on their Mac. Currently, it’s being offered at the introductory price of $49.99. While it not as comprehensive as the current version of Dragon for Mac, it is a fantastic alternative.
One of the great features of Dragon Express is that it does not need an external microphone to work. Users can simply use the computer’s built in microphone to dictate. The functionality of using an external microphone is there, but for those users (thinking of the tween set) that don’t want to wear a headset to dictate, this is great.
Setup takes only a couple of minutes. The welcome screen verifies the microphone type. From there, users are taken through a short walk through to calibrate the internal microphone. Once that is complete, users then start voice training.
Voice training is just what you’d expect from any dictation product. What is so amazing is how easily Dragon Express picks up the voice during training. The flow is smooth, and there isn’t much of a lag at all from picking up the voice to going on to the next part.
Once voice training is complete, the dragon express window launches. Users simply dictate into the window. Options to send the dictation to a document, e-mail, internet search engine, facebook, and twitter are all there.
What’s important to note about dictating within an application is that the application itself should be open. For example, for a user that was dictating an essay, they would want to make sure Pages or Word was running before dictating. Dragon Express will show the user if that program is open by displaying it in the lower left hand corner of the dictation window.
While it is not as comprehensive as the full version of Dragon for Mac, for a user that is looking for a simple, easy-to -use dictation solution for their Mac computer, Dragon Express for Mac is the way to go. It is intended for one user, so having multiple users is not an option with Dragon Express.
For students that are struggling with writing this is a great way to introduce dictation. While students must still be able to know how to edit properly, getting one’s ideas out is easy with Dragon Express.
I’ve used this with myself and a 4th grade user and was impressed with the recognition accuracy for both of us. The user was impressed with not having to use an external microphone as well.
Dragon Express, in essence, is a marriage of the iOS version of Dragon Dictate and Dragon Dictate for Mac. It truly is the best of both worlds.