Barking out search requests at Nuance's free Dragon Go! Android app is a blast, but the company's newly released Dragon Mobile Assistant builds on the bones of its predecessor to provide a much more Siri-esque experience capable of providing directions, reading and sending texts, updating your social media accounts and a whole lot more. Best of all? It's totally free.
Nuance designed the new app to respond to casually uttered commands, rather than forcing users to resort to complex and stilted syntax, as is the case with some personal assistant apps. The app also sports a helpful hands-free Driver Mode; saying "Hi, Dragon" automatically activates hands-free mode, though you'll need to manually open the app before it responds to commands.
Here's a list of some of the features Dragon Mobile Assistant brings to the table along with its Dragon Go!-style search capabilities:
- Make phone calls
- Send texts, Tweets and Facebook Status updates
- Create a calendar event
- Provide directions to locations with the help of Google Maps
- Find and make reservations at specific types of restaurants nearby
- Check the weather
I've been playing with the app as I wrote this post, and so far the speech recognition seems highly accurate, as one would expect from the company that offers Dragon Naturally Speaking. The voice recognition disengages after a few seconds of silence, however, frequently forcing you to say "Hi, Dragon" repeatedly if you're doing more than one task. We also wish it could send emails.
Nuance's Dragon Mobile Assistant is already available for the low, low price of $0 in the Google Play Store, but only phones running Android 4.0 or higher can run the app. Be patient, owners of older Android phones: Nuance says it has "expanded availability and new features planned before the end of 2012."