RIP, Dragon Dictation for Mac #amwriting

If you’re a Mac Nuance customer you may have gotten an email last month entitled Product Discontinuation Notice. This email gave you the sad news that Dragon Professional Individual for Mac (the only Mac product Nuance had) was discontinued as of 22 October 2018 (two days before the email was sent.)

Dragon Professional Individual for Mac is no more

Now, I had my problems with Dragon Pro (The Demise of Dictation) but people commented on my “I give up!” post saying that I just hadn’t used it correctly. That’s as may be, but Dragon Pro for Mac had other problems besides my dictating ineptitude. For some time, it’s been having problems with applications using Apple’s 64-bit text toolkit (Dragon on Scrivener 3 has gone haywire.) Nor has it ever been the stellar performer that Dragon Pro on Windows has been—in fact, one noted writer on the subject, Scott Baker, frankly suggests in A Writer’s Guide to Training your Dragon that Mac users get a cheap Windows machine or use Boot Camp on their Macs in order to use the Windows version of Dragon. Nor did his recommendation change when Dragon Pro for Mac version 6 was released, although he conceded that the software was reported to be more usable.

Why would Nuance discontinue Dragon Mac? They aren’t talking, but the problems with 64-bit text apps are definite. Further, MacOS won’t support 32-bit apps past the current major release (Mojave.) My own speculation is that Nuance, looking at a product that has never been up to its (Windows) standards and is (probably) not especially profitable for all its absurdly high price, was not willing to dump “good money after bad” in order to update it for the 64-bit text kit plus addressing any other problems it may have.

Now, I don’t feel any sorrow that Dragon Mac is gone—it means I will never again have the option of picking it up, deciding that it’s not working for me, or of spending hours with the notoriously bad Nuance tech support who tell me that it’s not working for me (duh.) Aside from the depressing feeling of getting dumped, I’m okay, but for many Mac users dictation is not optional. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, there is no other commercial third-party dictation software for Mac. So Mac-using writers who need dictation have fewer choices at this point:

  1. Use Mac, iOS, or Android native dictation. (Free with your device.)
  2. Use Dragon Anywhere (on iOS or Android). ($150 USD/year)
  3. Get Windows (see above). After investing in Windows hardware and software (cost varies), buy Dragon Professional. ($300 USD)

Not an outstanding list of choices. Good luck, Mac writers using dictation.

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2 thoughts on “RIP, Dragon Dictation for Mac #amwriting”

  1. I have a disability so use Dragon all the time. Luckily I use Windows. I also subscribe to Naturally Dragon at $150 a year. The latter is rubbish. Absolute waste of money. It only works with internet connection, it does not integrate with other apps (any of them) and is extremely limited in function.

    Jenny

    On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 8:03 PM A Study In Silver wrote:

    > silverdrag0n posted: “If you’re a Mac Nuance customer you may have gotten > an email last month entitled Product Discontinuation Notice. This email > gave you the sad news that Dragon Professional Individual for Mac (the only > Mac product Nuance had) was discontinued as of 22 Octob” >

    Like

  2. Some people are reporting on the Apple Community Forum that Dragon 6.0.8 is working fine on Mojave. I personally have 3 copies running flawlessly. Two on Mac OS 11 and one on OS 10.13. My trick has been to partition the SSD and clean install the OS and then Dragon, followed by MS Office. (My go to writing app) I make a Time Machine backup and then when I have tested long enough to feel safe, proceed to add other apps and utilities while saving at each install. Prioritization of apps is important. So far this has worked well for me. I cannot testify to Mojave yet, but it is on my soon to-do list.
    I am dismayed at the loss of Dragon. As a long time purchaser all the way back to MacSpeech, I have been waiting for a version to work like 6.0.8 ( fast, stable and very short training period ). I actually took one install and started dictating without error prior to doing the in-app training.
    At this juncture, I ask that others needing or wanting this program to continue, leave a message on Apple’s feedback form
    https://www.apple.com/feedback/macos.html
    and suggest they obtain the rights to Dragon for Mac and then do what they do so well with software.
    Apple has touted for many years their support for the handicapped. Notably, features found in the System Prefs> Accessibility. Adding this program to their software collection will keep the Mac a viable option for advanced users, professionals and handicapped individuals.
    My two cents…

    Like

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