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< >

Dragon for Email for BlackBerry Review

CrackBerry idol - Alicia
By Kevin Michaluk on 29 Jun 2010 10:02 pm EDT
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Dragon for Email for BlackBerry Smartphones

Have you ever found yourself trying to compose an e-mail but fumble so much with the keyboard that the text looks more like an alien language than actual words? Well, welcome to my world. Whether it be sending out messages for work or writing e-mails to friends I have no patience to type everything out. It just seems too SLOW. Well thanks to a friend from the train and my favorite blackberry blog site I downloaded a free dictation app called Dragon for E-mail. Finally, a hassle-free way of writing e-mail messages by simply speaking and having the app process and translate the audio into text.

Nuance's Dragon for E-Mail is as simple as the motto on their page: Press, Speak, Send. The app is embedded directly into each e-mail so no additional steps or clicks are necessary. How cool is that? With all the time spent reading crackberry, visiting facebook, listening to slacker and, of course, something called a job, anything that frees up time is hands down a winner in my book.

Dragon for Email
Dragon for Email

As you can see, Dragon is ready to go the instant you create a new e-mail (including replies and forwards). While in the subject or main body fields, all you have to do is press and hold the assigned side button to record and release when finished. That's all there is to it folks. Press a button, speak, and the program will do the rest. Audio is converted to text by linking to Nuance's servers which processes the information and transmits it back to the phone. Ladies and gentlemen, typing is now a thing of the past.

For those out there worried about accuracy, fear not, as the software is designed to adapt to each individual's voice over time. Therefore, no having to sit there carefully saying each word with pauses between each one. One simply talks as if having a conversation. Being a fast talking native New Yorker I must say this program flawlessly kept up with every word once it adapted to my voice. The only downside is you can't dictate contacts into the address fields. This requires you to upload your contact name information on Nuance's confidential servers.

What about punctuation and text commands you might ask? Well, a great feature of this app is its ability to recognize spoken text commands which I demonstrate on the screenshots below. One can insert new paragraphs, lines, periods and question marks by simply voicing the desired one. You can find a list of the commonly used commands at http://m.dragonmobileapps.com/bb/supportemail.html.

Dragon for Email
Dragon for Email

The best part of all is that if there are mistakes or you need to make edits and changes you can. No worries about sending a whole message filled with gobbledegook.

This is an amazing app that I highly recommend to everyone out there. Whether you're a busy professsional jotting down ideas or a consumer e-mailing friends and family, this app is certain to satisy all. Thank you all so much. Good luck to all my fellow CrackBerry Idol contestants. Alicia out.

Devices Supported

Tour 9630, Storm 9530 (OS 5.0 or higher), Storm2 9550, Bold (9000), Bold2 9700, Curve 8310, 8320, 8900.

Ratings

Pros

  • Free application
  • Easy to use
  • Up to 5X faster than typing 
  • Quick transcription time
  • Adapts over time to the user's voice 
  • Speak basic commands and punctuations 
  • Review text before sending
  • Compatible with Bluetooth devices

Cons

  • Unlimited Data Plan (New AT&T customers)
  • Upload contacts to servers to dictate names
  • Sacrifice a convenience key / Voice Dialing Application is default when not in use
  • Only for e-mail; lacks SMS & BBM capability

Similar Apps (Payment required)

  • MyCaption
  • Voice to Text 
  • Vlingo Plus - Voice App

Download

Dragon for E-Mail is available from the Blackberry App World or can be downloaded directly from your phone at http://m.dragonmobileapps.com/index.html.

** This review was written as part of the CrackBerry Idol 2010 competition. Click for details. **

54 comments

Kevin Michaluk

Kevin (aka Ryan Seacrest): Alicia in the Big Apple.... Great video and review!! I actually haven't installed this one on my BlackBerry yet, but after watching our video I think I'm going to give it a whirl. Let's see what the judges think of your review. 

CrackBerry Idol Judges

Dieter: Nice job Alicia. The video was really engaging. But dawg, for some reason the review read a little more to me like a product brochure or app description than a detailed user review. I'm not quite sure why I feel that, but I do think between the text and video and screen captures combined you nailed the key points, which is what matters. I'm excited to see what you do for us in Round 2! 

Georgia: Alicia I really enjoyed watching your video. It was a great idea to demonstrate the difference between using Dragon for Email outdoors and then inside. Your voice and tone kept me interested through the video and I actually forgot that I was judging (Sorry Kevin!). I would have liked to know a few more of the features of the application and some issues it has but overall I was informed and entertained, so good job. Your written review, loved it. I really liked your writing style and the manner in which you wrote and you did a great job covering all the pros and cons of the app. I felt that you were able to reach the reader and that is something very important for a blogger. Quite impressed, hope that you go on Alicia!

Craig: It was a good review. I wouldn't say it was great, but I think you pulled it off well and made it compelling for the average BlackBerry owner. I'm impressed the app takes up your accent so well, but I'm curious if it could handle mine and at one point it starts to fall off. I also liked the fact that you did part of the video outdoors as well as indoors. I feel like I'd need a cheat sheet to remember all the "caps on, caps off" "new line, comma" jumbles that you have to use to get the app to work, but can't blame you for that. Overall the style was good. You kept the written review short and sweet. You didn't feel the need to write 1500 words when you could say the same thing in 650. Nothing wrong with that. Time is money. 

CrackCurve56

Now this is what I call EXCELLENT reporting. Short, sweet, to the point, a very interesting and informative and original video also. Her article was well thought out, well written, and above all, no grammatical errors, either in spelling or syntax WHICH IS UNUSUAL for BlackBerry blogs (all kidding aside). I found myself now wanting to download this app to my 9700 and intend to tonight. Kudos Alicia to a job well done. I feel I understand this app totally due to your explanation of it, and your video held my attention the entire way through. APPLAUSE. :)

KTJPSY

I was sold based on the review and went to download the app only to be greeted with, "This application is not available on your device (Bold 9650) or for your carrier (Verizon)." What's up with that??! I want this!!

diegonei

Living in Brasil is great but RIM's idea of "only completely free" apps in AppWorld is getting annoying.

There is another great app that I can't dowload.

About the contest... Her review did not strike me as the other two... But was the only one that made me move to the device to try to get the app.

vbev84

Awesome review, downloading the app now.

CrackCurve56

KT if you noticed, your phone wasn't listed as being one of the cells that could take this app. LOL. :)

KTJPSY

Yes I did, but since the Tour 9630 was listed, and so many things for it fit, work, or run on the Bold 9650 (since they're similar platforms), I was hopeful.

cp3for3

Great JOB Alicia!!! Despite what one reviewer said about your written review coming off as brochure-like, I felt your written review was excellent as it was easy to follow. No nonsense details and you went right to the point. You wrote in a concise and clear manner. Keep it up!

pkcable

Nice review, love that New York accent. ;)

fraunhofer777

damn, doesn't work in canada :(

abboder

What theme are you running?

BB_Newbie50

i was running the Crackberry theme! It was one of the only themes that looked great outdoors for the camera.

hudres

Technically this app is a fine piece of work. But it sends all names in your address book to Dragon and it uses their server for the voice recognition so it also send the contents and full address of all recipients. If you don't mind giving a copy of everything you do to Dragon, this is fine. Remember, "You get what you pay for"

BB_Newbie50

That feature is optional hudres. You do not have to send your contact info to them. I actually had this written in my original draft but guess in all the excitement and rewrites it got lost. Sorry about that.

hudres

@bbnewbie50: What you say is true, but what difference does it make if all dictated e-mails go through the Dragon server? Having the list of names is not great, but in the business world, getting a full e-mail along with all the header info is of use. Consider Google and all the info they grab about you without your permission. I paid my corporate attorney to review the EULA and his report was dismal at best.

Bottom line: No need to apologize. If what you do is of no consequence, this is a really cool app. If you are in the business or government worlds, as many BB users are, this app has no value and poses a serious security risk. It is unfortunate as this would be a great app if it ran on the BB without server interface.

The recent BB OS' have a voice recognition system in them and it is marginal. I still use it as it works about half the time. The Dragon software requires training but its accuracy is most impressive. I use Dragon Naturally Speaking on my laptop and netbook and it is great. We will just have to wait another generation or so until they can pack enough processing power to support a local version. 73

stevewu-jr

this app doesn't work for blackberry users in Taiwan...
Nuance better make it works asap...
does anyone have other solutions??

XWolf

Sorry, don't get this - is this a thing if you make use of the contacts server or is the app connected permanently whenever you use it regardless?

Nice review.

3Dee

Really well written and totally engaging, really good job (although the app doesn't seem to be available in the UK either).

shv580

Excellent! one of my favourite reviews so far, please keep 'em coming.

trjnberry

This was the first review where I felt compelled to go get the app! Loved how you challenged the app in the video. It would have been easy to sit in a quiet room and speak a few lines, but you went into the real world, where there's lots of noise, and showed us how it can work. Your written review was very in depth and I loved how you listed similar apps and answered a lot of potential questions in your pros and cons. Like how it doesn't work on SMS or BBM. How like Vlingo and voice dialing, it does lock your convenience key. One suggestion for improvement, as evident in the community feedback, a list of compatible devices would have been helpful since this app doesn't work for all devices on all carriers.

FYI for CB community, the support FAQs say it will work on Sprint, Verizon, ATT/Rogers, & T-Mobile for select devices... Tour, Storm & Storm 2 for Verizon; Curve 8900, 8310, 8320 for T-Mobile, Tour only on Sprint, and Bold & Bold 2 on ATT. Rogers has only Bold 2 listed. The FAQs don't list Sprint or Rogers, but the download agreement that you are asked to accept does list Rogers & Sprint availablity for the select devices mentioned above.

Alicia, very good review, excellent video, I look forward with anticipation to your next review. By the way, I did use the app per your video and found that I didn't need to go to a support page to figure out how to use it.

Aloha Joe

Made me want to go and download Dragon...and I already have it! Great review. ...miss Rock Center...

CrackCurve56

Do those of you that keep asking "It doesn't tell what phone model it supports" not see it in front of your eyes? Hmmm, when I read an article I "read" an article. I'm surprised at you all. Here let me transpose the line for all of you that "didn't see it."
Devices Supported

Tour 9630, Storm 9530 (OS 5.0 or higher), Storm2 9550, Bold (9000), Bold2 9700, Curve 8310, 8320, 8900.

This line WAS DIRECTLY ABOVE the pros and cons, if the entire article was read. :)

trjnberry

It was..! oh, I am sorry. Didn't see it. I even reviewed the review several times while I preparing my feedback. Ouch, how'd I miss that?! :-( I'll try to be more careful next time in my feedback.

CrackCurve56

I have over 10 themes on my 9700 and it works with all themes. That's why I really do love this dragon app. Makes emails so simple that a child could use it. :)

ricking

this app is awesome ,had it on my 8900. but i have a 8530 from sprint and it is not downloadable. that sucks!!! even though it says available for all carriers, but not for all phones...

supermilk7

Shouldn't it be "jumps" to include the S?

tcica

I spent about an hour trying to load this app on a Bold 9650 from VZ until I realized it wasn't listed as a compatible phone.

The funny thing is, I have it working on my 9650 because I did a phone swap through BB desktop manager and the app came over from my Tour!

The app works fine on my new Bold; they just need to allow it to load on the 9650.

droidnewbie2011

The video and written was concise and to the point. Well done Alicia, look forward to your next review in Round 2.

cdf3

I had too many dictation errors while using this app. I spent more time going back and reediting, than if I would have just typed it out myself. I use AutoText a lot, so I'm able to type pretty fast on my BlackBerry.

gregs87

Why no yo dawg in the Judge's reaction?

jlb21

I haven't watched the video yet (as I am at work and don't have headphones with me). But, in general, I thought your written review was good.

I think, however, that you have missed one key point. You talk about how much you love this as you are more error free than when you actually type.

That's great, but this is a very critical type of application for folks on the road who need to get email out. This app gives them the ability to do just that and be safe(r) doing it. Sure, dictating an email still might make one lose a little focus while on the road. But for those that must send mail from the road, an app like this is extremely valuable.

Again, I think you did a great job, but I do think you ignored a key selling point here.

fringeIT

You should actually read the review again and
check for spelling errors.

Ghostnyc

I did not recall you mentioning this product is FREE. And when an app appears to work as great as Dragon appears to work in the demo...FREE is a worth mentioning several times.

IM DOWNLOADING THIS TODAY!

skynny70

BlackBerry App World says this is compatible with all devices but this review only lists certain ones. Which is correct?

skynny70

I found the answer on the Dragon for Email website. App World gives bad info as usual.

lcolien

i'm having trouble with getting it to work - i wonder if i set my permissions to strict - where is the option to not upload contacts? and on the permission page, did most of you just leave them all at allow to make it work?

webchetan

I have one of the side key configured for Vlingo. It doesn't work when Vlingo is installed. Anyone else having the same issue?

I have one dedicated Key for Quick Launch and another for Vlingo. Too bad, I cannot use Dragon for Email. Is it possible to have another key like any keyboard key instead of side keys?

Thanks

trjnberry

The Dragon FAQs say you can have other apps on the same key, such as another app like Vlingo, but they recommend that you have one convenience key set to "nothing" for the Dragon for Email to use. I almost made the mistake of setting it to "Dragon..." but it has to be set to the "nothing" setting. Then it'll work fine. Dragon also requires the convenience key to function.

Dave Peckens

I liked your video because you clearly showed how well this app works in a noisy environment. Kudos to the Dragon developers.

I wasn't, however, compelled to purchase the app ... which, in the end, I suppose it okay. You did provide a knowledgable take on it, which I can pull bits and pieces from to share with other techs and clients.

Thank you!

JimIllinois

Personally, I think each of the Idol reviews so far have been equal to or better than previous reviews I have seen here.

After the final choices are made, the resulting writer team is going to be very good.

Re3m

HELLO CRACKBERRY MEMEBERS, OK IN THIS VIDEO. RIGHT BEFORE SHE CLICKS INTO THE APPLICATION THE SCREEN GOES TO A SLIDE AWAY LOOK AS IF IT THE PHONE DOING A SLIDESHOW. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CANT GET THE APPLICATION TO HAVE THAT EFFECT... PLEASE EMAIL AT REEM89@TMO.BLACKBERRY.NET

JAF1

Ok, what am I missing? "Unlimited data plan" is listed as one of the cons. Why is an unlimited data plan required? I understand the voice process uses data but can't use that much compared to listening to streaming music.

pcgizmo

but this app has to be about as useless as VZW's PTT

CrackCurve56

Fringe I did read it for spelling and syntax. Did you graduate from the George W. Bush school of spelling as I sure didn't. :)

CrackCurve56

Lord help me. You don't need to purchase this app. It's FREE as said in Alicia's review. Lord help me! LOL. :)

pinkfloyd7777

Anyone else having trouble downloading this? I can't find it in app world and it won't open in the link from the website. Any suggestions?

Great review by the way. It obviously made me want to download it.

Xopher

I thought the video and review were both very well done. It made it a very compelling to go and download this app. The accuracy seemed very good.

The minor points that I think didn't make it into the review are error correcting (do you have to do it manually?, I wonder how it learns), and you didn't list the file size.

Other than that, good job!

308nut

says device not suppported

BOLD 9650 Sprint

bwhardy

Super job on the txt and video, but say whats with the Mets icon on our berry. My whole family are Yankees fans except me. You go Mets girl!

wirelessgal

I have the 9700 and it says "This application is not available on your device or for your carrier". Is this only for the US?

Scarlett

Be sure to spell the names of any product correctly such as BlackBerry and not blackberry. You mentioned several applications which were not capitalized. These mistakes could be critical if trying to sell yourself in an advertising situation. In my perspective that is what vendors are wanting when they provide products to CrackBerry and in the Idol competition you want to sell yourself to your audience.