Dragon Go brings voice-powered search to iOS

The accuracy is spot-on, and the results are better and more varied than you'll get from either Bing or Google. Best of all, the app is free!

The free Dragon Go app provides a wealth of relevant results from its voice-powered searches.
The free Dragon Go app provides a wealth of relevant results from its voice-powered searches. Screenshot by Rick Broida

Back in late 2009, software developer Nuance made waves with Dragon Dictation, a killer free app that translates your voice into text.

For Nuance's next trick, Dragon Go turns your voice into a search engine. Just tap the Record button, say what you're looking for, and presto: the app runs a search.

Wait a minute, doesn't the Google app do exactly the same thing? It does, but with decidedly Google-style results: Web, Images, Places, etc.

Dragon Go incorporates a wide range of mobile sites. Thus, a search for singer Brendan Benson produces results from not only Google, but also Amazon, Pandora, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, and even LiveNation.

Search for a movie and you won't get LiveNation, but instead an IMDb entry and showtimes from Fandango. Restaurant searches give you Yelp listings, and so on.

Wait a minute, doesn't the Bing app do exactly the same thing? Yes and no. Although it offers voice-powered search, the results are listed in one long (and rather inconvenient) column.

Dragon Go, on the other hand, sports a stylish-looking results carousel, which you swipe through to find the specific info you want: photos, videos, maps (courtesy of Bing, ironically), movie showtimes, tweets, etc.

For most results you can copy the URL or send it directly to Facebook, Twitter, Safari, or an e-mail or text message.

In my tests, Dragon Go exhibited the same kind of spooky accurateness as the Bing and Google apps (and, for that matter, Dragon Dictation). It even recognized my phonetically challenging last name. Amazing stuff!

The app is free, so you've got nothing to lose by taking it for a test-talk.

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