Elias Pelcastre

How accurate is Dragon Anywhere when it comes to foreign English accents? (Update)

I have been studying English my whole life, and even lived in the United Kingdom for three years. Still, Siri doesn’t seem to understand my Mexican accent.

Now – Google´s digital assistant – is more reliable, as it gets what I’m saying wrong at first but corrects it almost immediately to spell my entire phrase right. Nevertheless, there are some words Now can´t get its virtual head around and ends up jotting down a whole other thing.

Both Android and iOS come with a speech to text tool that enables you to dictate phrases and convert them into text; very helpful when you can´t use your hands to type.

But when it comes to foreign English accents, both systems have trouble understanding what the user wants to say. Nuance, the developer behind speech recognition software NaturallySpeaking, recently launched a new mobile solution that tries to solve that problem.

Dragon Anywhere is available for Android and requires a subscription. For $15 a month, and with a 7-day free trial that you can cancel at any time, you can use your voice to create and edit documents right on your smartphone or tablet.

How good is Dragon Anywhere at handling foreign English accents? I tried the mobile app to see if it could understand my particular type of English.

Before I continue, keep in mind that the Dragon Anywhere Android app is only available in the US and Canada. You can download the APK file on your device through APKMirror, just remember to enable the “Unknown resources” setting and turn it off once you´re done to avoid potential harm.

Dragon Anywhere for Android will ask you for your email and password, which you get to create when you purchase the service through Nuance´s website. After you log in with your credentials, you will access the dictation screen straightaway.

Tap the red mic button to start dictating; you can make corrections with voice commands like “select” and “scratch that” – the app has a button that lets you see the full list of voice commands – or invoke the digital keyboard to make changes by hand.

Dragon Anywhere had almost no trouble understanding what I meant, although it wrote “older” rather than “other” in my test. I tried to dictate the name of my website, eliaspelcastre.com, and instead Dragon understood “LES bill castrate.com.” (I wasn´t expecting the app to get the name right.)

Dragon enables you to move to different parts of the text with your voice to make changes. It allowed me to delete a word, but I couldn´t change from a lower to an upper case.

Dragon Anywhere worked perfectly during my second test, although I have to point out that the digital keyboard covers most of the screen. It gets in the way in small devices and makes it very difficult to edit text in the lower part of the screen.

Nuance says Dragon Anywhere gets better with time, and its accuracy depends on your pronunciation and other factors, like background noise. Nevertheless, the app is better than other services at understanding foreign accents.

Dragon Anywhere is available for British and American English, as well as German, and requires Android 4.4. The iPhone and iPad versions are on their way, with the website displaying a “Coming in the Fall” sign.

Did you like Dragon Anywhere for Android? Do you plan to subscribe? Please let me know in the comment section below.

Update

Dragon Anywhere is now available for iPhone and iPad as a native app.

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