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  1. #1
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    Nuance has discontinued the only professional quality speech-to-text product for the Macintosh (Dragon):

    https://www.macrumors.com/2018/10/24...es-dragon-mac/

    I guess that one could have predicted this when Apple started to include a limited version in the Mac OS. Sadly, Nuance (a horrible company) bought up and discontinued all of their speech-to-text competitors.

    Many professionals rely on dictation for their work. If you folks think that this is going to impact your use of the Macintosh, I urge you to write to Apple and implore them to use their influence to have this product made available again. Apple has previously paid third party software developers to remain on the Mac platform when they thought that the product was essential for keeping a lot of users in the Mac camp.

    https://www.apple.com/feedback/macos.html
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  2. #2
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I hate to see this. I've been using speech to text software since the days of ViaVoice. I shifted to Dragon when ViaVice disappeared. I've usually upgraded Dragon as new versions appeared. I didn't upgrade the last time though. I don't use it as much as I used to because I've been disappointed with the performance -- especially compared to the PC version. I just can't jsutify the cost given how little I have used it recenty.

    I hope someone steps into this market and fills the void. I'd continue to pay for/use such a program if a good option were available.

  3. #3
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    chscag's Avatar
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    If there any good reviews about Nuance, they're hard to find. They actually had a fairly nice program for Windows years back. A good friend of mine (now deceased) used it quite a bit.

    Hey Sly: You just have to make better friends with Siri and quit bouncing that ball. LOL.

  4. #4
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post

    I hope someone steps into this market and fills the void.
    I'd say that the chances of that happening are non-existent. Nuance bought up all their competitors, which means that they hold all of the critical patents on this technology. Not to mention decades of development. The obstacles to another developer who wanted to enter this space are just too great.

    I know that Apple has licensed Nuance's speech-to-text technology. My hope is that they can enhance what is already in the Mac OS. But I don't know the limits of their license.

    What I *can* tell you is that hundreds of doctors and lawyers across the country are going to be abandoning the Macintosh now for lack of this product. I don't know if Apple cares about this or not.

    I do hope that folks write to Apple and ask them to make sure that professional-level speech-to-text is available for the Mac. If Apple doesn't hear that there is a demand, then they won't help at all.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  5. #5
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure you're right. The chances of thaat happening are next to nil. In addition to the patent issues, which I hadn't considered, I know just enough about the many variations in the human voice to realize that the programming alone would be a daunting task.

    @Charlie I came to the conclusion long ago that Siri hates me. I'd probably use it more if it were more functional on the Mac. I am starting to use it more on the iPhone now that shortcuts are available.

  6. #6
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    IWT's Avatar
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    I urge you to write to Apple and implore them to use their influence to have this product made available again.
    Just done so this minute, Randy.

    Ian
    Ian

  7. #7
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    pm-r's Avatar
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    @Randy
    I'd say that the chances of that happening are non-existent. Nuance bought up all their competitors, which means that they hold all of the critical patents on this technology. Not to mention decades of development. The obstacles to another developer who wanted to enter this space are just too great.

    Randy, as a lawyer, do you know if a company can just sit on their patents etc. even if they go kaput, or not actually producing a product any longer???

    Just curious… or maybe just wondering if it could ends up in the public domain or some such…





    - Patrick
    ======

  8. #8
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    chscag's Avatar
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    I know that Apple has licensed Nuance's speech-to-text technology. My hope is that they can enhance what is already in the Mac OS. But I don't know the limits of their license.
    @Patrick: Note - Randy pointed out that Apple does have a license agreement with Nuance. If Apple's license includes their use and development of Dragon for macOS, then they probably could make it available. But knowing Apple and how cheap they are, I doubt they paid Nuance anything more than the minimum for usage of the program.

  9. #9
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    @Randy
    Randy, as a lawyer, do you know if a company can just sit on their patents etc. even if they go kaput, or not actually producing a product any longer???

    Just curious… or maybe just wondering if it could ends up in the public domain or some such…
    Patents are generally good for 17 years if applied for in 1995 or earlier. They are good for up to 20 years, if renewed after 14 years, if applied for after 1995. After that, the information is public domain.

    During the pendancy of a patent, the holder can sit on the patent and do nothing at all with it if they like. In fact, that's what happens with many patents. Big companies, like Apple, file a ton of patents just to sit on them and keep other companies (potential competitors) from coming up with and using the ideas they embody to compete in your business field. Holding patents that you don't intend to use is also a way to stave off a patent suit. The more patents you own, the more likely it is that you can counter-sue a competitor who sues you.

    If a company goes out of business, generally all intellectual property is sold off, because it is quite valuable, even to companies that don't intend to use it. In the unlikely event that it is not sold off, anyone can use the patent, because there is no one to enforce it.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  10. #10
    Nuance Discontinues Drago For Mac
    pm-r's Avatar
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    If a company goes out of business, generally all intellectual property is sold off, because it is quite valuable, even to companies that don't intend to use it. In the unlikely event that it is not sold off, anyone can use the patent, because there is no one to enforce it.




    Thanks Randy. And I hope some of that applies to other countries as well.

    So I gather there may be a faint glimmer of hope on the horizon that Mac users may still have a decent or hopefully maybe even improved speech-to-text product in the future.

    I can think of many local handicapped persons who would suffer drastically without such a feature.

    Hopefully Apple may even make some sort of an announcement with some positive news.





    - Patrick
    ======

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