Dragon Go iPhone app expands its search options

The voice recognition app can now tap into such services as Netflix, Spotify, Wolfram Alpha, and Ask.com to help you find specific information or content.

Lance Whitney/CNET

Nuance has beefed up its Dragon Go iPhone app to let you search for information across a wider array of Web sites and services.

Available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch since July , this free search-by-voice app is unique compared with the Google and Bing iOS apps. Dragon Go can find results and run commands across dozens of different Web sites, including Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Craiglist, Amazon, eBay, CNN, Reuters, and even CNET.

The latest update adds even more sites to the mix, notably Netflix, Spotify, Wolfram Alpha, Ask.com, and Google+. And when you tap the app's red button to record your question, Dragon Go does more than just deliver the search results. It can actually take you to the site you need or list results from a variety of sites.

As one example, say something like "Dexter," and the app will display links to Netflix, iTunes, and other sites where you can find episodes, music, and books on the popular Showtime series.

Or, say the phrase "Italian restaurants in Chicago," and Dragon Go will display a list of restaurants from the Web site Yelp. But even then, you don't have to stick with Yelp. By tapping the other Web site icons at the top of the screen, you can check out Chicago's Italian restaurants as seen by Google, OpenTable, Bing Maps, Twitter, and YouTube.

If you want results from a specific site, you can add that site's name as part of your query. For example, saying the phrase "iPhone CNET," will take you to the mobile CNET Web site with links to news, reviews, and videos about Apple's smartphone. Or, say the phrase "Watch Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix," and Dragon opens the Netflix mobile site, prompts you to log in, and then takes you directly to the page where you can stream your favorite TNG episodes.

The new integration with Ask.com lets you ask specific questions, such as "What is the current population of the United States?" And the tie-in with Wolfram Alpha helps you grab answers to more challenging questions, such as "What is the square root of 359?"

Related stories:
• Dragon iPhone app tweaked, search tool released
• Dragon Go brings voice-powered search to iOS
• Report: Apple using Nuance voice tech in data center

In my testing, Dragon Go's accuracy was virtually always on the money. Only in a couple of instances did it misinterpret one of my words. The app not only can understand your words but also their context, so it's able to figure out exactly what you want to do or where you want to go.

"People love being able to just simply speak and watch Dragon Go! give them the content they are looking for right away--it hears, understands and delivers," Vlad Sejnoha, Nuance's chief technology officer, said in a statement. "We're deeply invested in continuing to evolve Dragon Go! with new features, more content providers and richer app integration, and ultimately opening new doors for the consumer mobile destination experience. This is another step towards the mobile semantic web, and we've just gotten started."

Dragon's speech recognition takes on even more significance with some reports saying that Nuance's speech-to-text dictation will find itself in Apple's upcoming new iPhone .

 

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