With Mountain Lion, Global Voice Recognition Comes to OS X and It Is Awesome

Screen Shot 2012 07 25 at 10 36 31 AM

If you read the site you know how much I like, use and rely upon voice recognition. I use Siri on my iPhone more for voice recognition than for the actual “power” of Siri. I use global voice recognition on my iPad ALL THE TIME. And on my Mac I use Dragon Dictation and Dragon Express all the time.

With Mountain Lion Apple is bringing global voice recognition to the Mac. Sure, it has some of the same limitation as iOS voice recognition in that is requires a data connection and there is a limitation on how long you can dictate before it processes the data. (You can, of course, then add additional “dictation sessions”.)

To use dictation you first need to go into the settings menu and activate this function. From there you simply need to press the function button twice and a small dictation window with a microphone will appear. Speak for up to a minute, it seems, and then press the function button again. The computer will quickly process the voice and insert the text into the currently active window. It’s how I dictated this post and, perhaps most impressive, like the iOS versions of voice recognition, it doesn’t require advanced training. Simply press the function button twice and start speaking.

It is a great addition to the OS and one that I will be using… often.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

10 Comments on "With Mountain Lion, Global Voice Recognition Comes to OS X and It Is Awesome"

  1. I’m excited about this. I have MS and it causes me vision problems sometimes. Being able to dictate stuff into my computer for simple emails and documents would be great to have. Make things easier on me. Think I’ll be updating my Mac’s now.

  2. Sorry to hear about the MS. Dealing with RA myself (flares make typing all but impossible) I really can appreciate the impact such things can have on daily activities that are otherwise “simple”. I used the voice rec all day on my MacBook ProR and was quite impressed. Granted the laptop has dual array mics so other macs may not work quite as accurately but it is a huge win and productivity boost for me already.
    Let us know what you think please??

  3. My aunt has RA too, and I know she’s got problems using computers or doing anything with her hands, and with my MS, I’ve had times where typing was really difficult. (numb fingers are hard to type with) I know what you mean about typing being all but impossible.

    I have two Macs (iMac and a Mini) and my parents have Mini’s and some Macbooks, (we used to be a Windows only family) and my dad is getting ready to update to Mountain Lion, so he’s going to see if we can update all the computers in the house at once. I probably will need a microphone for my Mini (not sure if it’s got a built in mic or not) but I’m kind of excited to do the update now that I know it’s voice recognition might be better than what I’ve got now. (now if they’d just put Siri on the iPad2…)

    I had an MS flare of my vision back in April (couldnt see a thing out of my right eye, had some steroids and it’s resolved for now) and I was going nuts trying to get the voice recognition and the narration programs to work on my computers. (the iPad 2’s narration program is pretty nice, btw)

    Hopefully if I update my computers, if I have another bad flare in the future I’ll have the voice recognition all set up and ready to help.

  4. The 1 minute limitation is a little irritating to me and makes the service a little less useful (because I have to keep stopping and I tend to speak and write in more of a continuous stream which I then go back and revise). The stop and start nature of the service is a little disruptive and doesn’t really work the way I work, but I understand it needs to work that way (for now) even if I don’t. The fact that it doesn’t integrate well with my work style doesn’t detract from the fact that it is a welcome addition to the OS. It is also great how smoothly it is triggered – just a double-tap on the FN key and you are there! I’m hoping for a smoother, more continuous feel in the future (where it streams my words to the server in the backround), but for now it’s a nice step forward!

  5. I havent gotten Mountain Lion yet, but I did get an iPad 3 last week. Love the voice recognition software on it. Hope Mountain Lion’s voice recognition is as good as the iPad 3. Especially since my MS flared the day after I got my iPad and my hands are affected (numb, can barely move some fingers). I definitely need to get Mountain Lion now.

  6. just updated. The dictation isnt working at all for me, and it even quit working on my ipad…and it’s not a good day for me with my hands. So far, not impressed

  7. If the connectivity is poor neither will work. Nor will it work if it is “having a bad day”. That’s the issue with voice rec that is based on outside servers and why dragon dictation for mac is still on my computer.

  8. that sucks.

    the update also killed my solitaire game (Burning Monkey) so now I have to go find a new solitaire. My dad is going to be disappointed about that. That’s his favorite game.

    I’m glad I backed up my computer before doing the update now. Might be having my brother-in-law restore it back to snow leopard (if its possible)

    Think I’ll go check out dragon dictation.

  9. After playing with this for a couple of days now, I finally got the hang of the dictation software. I got the updates for mountain lion and got my iPad 3 just in time. Now I don’t know what I’d do without the dictation software. My MS flare is being annoying, But I’m really bored and at least this is giving me something to keep my mind off the flare.

    It seems like the iPad’s dictation software is better than Mountain lion’s dictation software. I don’t know why but the iPad seems to be more accurate in picking up the words I want to say. At least I have two ways to keep communicating with friends online.

    So now I think I’m more impressed than I was the other day

  10. I think part of the reason that the iPad is better for you than the Mac is that the iPad was designed for voice recognition where as the Mac was not – until the current MacBook Pro with retina display. That jumped to having a dual array mic and that is the reason why. For me, the Mac is just as accurate.
    Glad you got it working for you – especially because of the flare.

    Sent from my iPad

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