One of my favorite tech reviewers -- David Pogue of The New York Times -- has just reviewed a remarkable voice recognition application for the iPhone. Dragon Dictation is a free app for Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) wildly popular device that immediately transcribes whatever you say into the phone's speaker. You can then drop the text into an email, text message, word processor, etc.
Pogue loves the app from Nuance (Nasdaq: NUAN ) , and so do I. It's pretty accurate, and any goofed-up words can easily be corrected. Sure, it can and will get better, but this represents the best of what these phones are capable of: amazing technology that was unthinkable just a few years ago. And did I mention it's free (for the time being)? Yet, there are over 1,000 one-star reviews in the app store! Is it because of Dragon Dictation's performance? No, says Pogue:
Instead, people are freaked out by that "your audio is converted by Nuance's servers" part. They think this is a privacy violation. They fear that someone at Nuance might listen in to the audio. (Nuance says nope, it's just a bunch of computers, maintained in a secure facility, and the audio and transcriptions are not saved.)
I'm not at all worried about where my words might wind up, any more than I would be with a text message, email, or voice call. Instead, I suspect this is one more "killer app" that will spread across platforms and fuel smartphone sales for Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) , Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) , Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) , any device that runs Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android operating system, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Windows Mobile, etc.
This final paragraph is a direct copy and paste from dragon dictation. Will apps like this make you more likely to buy a smartphone? Let us know in the comments box below!