Nuance launches Dragon Dictation for iPhone – Get it while it's free!

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Nuance is one of the most important companies in the mobile space, yet few cell phone owners have any idea who they are. You know that T9 feature that lets you blast out texts on your number pad? That’s theirs. If your phone does text-to-voice or voice transcription, that’s probably their technology too.

Nuance’s latest move to take over the mobile world: the iPhone. While they don’t have anything on the iPhone out-of-the-box (yet), they’ve just released an App called “Dragon Dictation”, which lets you speak your texts and emails. Drunk texting just got even easier – well, as long as you’re not slurring too bad.

Here’s how it works: Launch the app, hit the record button, and speak. Once you’re done, they pass the clip through the Dragon NaturallySpeaking engine, and return the transcribed text, which you can push into an SMS, E-mail, or to your clipboard for use with any other app.

The transcription service was more accurate than I would have expected, though not perfect. My harsh Californian (read: non-existent) accent must have been tripping it up – it would nail “Blu-ray” in one sentence, and then miss it the next time. Tapping any word it got wrong presents a list of other words it thinks you may have meant. It seems to work better when you talk at a certain pace; not too fast, and not too slow. Once you find the right cadence, accuracy is pretty solid.

Whether it’s perfect or not, it’s free – for now, at least. Nuance says that the gratis pricing is “for a limited time”, which means you better grab it while it’s hot. Here’s the iTunes link.