Dragon Dictate ★★☆☆☆

Another version of Dragon Dictate for Mac was recently released. For the first time in years, I won’t be buying. I have long been a reluctant user of both Dictate (and MacSpeech before that). It has always been a buggy, janky product with slow and audaciously expensive upgrades. And I could potentially forgive all that for such an important, useful product, but Nuance is also just awful to deal with: slow, awkward, barely-there technical “support.” They specialize in those boilerplate replies that have almost nothing to do with what you asked. So you write back and say, “That’s not what I asked about. I need help with A, please, not B. I didn’t say anything about B.” And they respond with, “We’re sorry you are having trouble with C. Please tell us what version of the software you are using.” Which you told them in the first message… ugh. I finally gave up on them. And I was irritated badly enough and often enough that I usually make a point of posting some gripes whenever an upgrade is announced. Consumer revenge!

Meanwhile, I have been messing around with Mountain Lion’s dictation feature. I would far rather live with its limitations. It ain’t perfect, but neither is Dictate, and I’ll take the cheap, bullet-proof simplicity Apple is offering any day. Thank you, Apple. Good riddance, Nuance.

Update, 2013: I am still using Apple’s dictation feature constantly. Occassionally I wish I could use it to do a little more than enter text, but basically it’s highly functional and reliable and I’m happy.