Softnet Systems, Inc. Speech Recognition Specialists

REVIEW OF DRAGON PROFESSIONAL INDIVIDUAL 15 (Also called Dragon Pro 15)

Updated October, 2018: Dragon Professional Individual 15 (a.k.a. Dragon Pro 15) was first announced in August 2016. Downloads are available for the full product and for upgrades from Premium or Professional 12/13 and Dragon Professional Individual. Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition is NOT affected by this, there is no Dragon Medical 13 or 14 or 15 in North America.

Dragon Legal Individual 15 has also been released. Comments apply to it as well

Following are comments on the (few) new features. In addition to new features, there is clean-up of code "under the hood" making this release generally more responsive and reliable.

The biggest change is largely invisible to users. It is a change in the Nuance/Dragon "speech engine" supposedly incorporating "Deep Learning" techniques. There is little information about the specifics of this change but it has proven to be a high-risk, high-reward upgrade. My prediction was that it would have significant benefits (primarily better accuracy) for some persons, and that has been the case. Persons getting excellent accuracy on prior versions of Dragon experience little accuracy change. A few persons are likely to be adversely impacted by these changes. As of now, it appears that heavily-accented speech may have poorer initial accuracy but that with proper corrections this is resolved within the first few hours of use.

REASONS TO UPGRADE

There is a claim by Nuance that the number of misrecognitions are reduced by about 15%.

In initial use with default settings it seems faster to respond. This is because initial parameters for speed vs. accuracy have been adjusted.

Windows 10 and Office 2016 support is improved with added commands and many problems solved. However, a significant number of users were plagued with problems in Office 2016 including jumping cursors, unexplained hangs/freezes, etc. These were resolved in a 15.3 update which is freely available.

Requirements are essentially the same as for Releases 13 and 14.

Changes -- Not Necessarily Reasons to Upgrade

Revised Help systems and commands -- again. Yes, it was redone on Release 14, now it is redone again. These changes will have limited value to experienced users. Work through the initial prompts that are annoying to experienced users and it seems they won't recur.

There are reports that older versions of WordPerfect may not work well.

WHO SHOULD DEFINITELY UPGRADE NOW:

Persons currently using Dragon Premium 12 or 13 who need more flexibility creating custom commands.

Persons planning to use Windows 10 within the next year, as Dragon Professional Individual 15 resolves many Windows 10 issues with Dragon.

Persons needing additional commands or changes to commands in "Sleep" state lost these commands with DPI. This Nuance bug is corrected on this release.

WHO MIGHT NOT UPGRADE

Persons needing to use the Dragon Roaming Users capability. In some cases, just changing the location from which to open user profiles is an adequate substitute for Roaming Users. In other cases, using two or more independent copies of user profiles is as good a solution as the Dragon Roaming Users. These people can review Dragon Professional Group as an option.

Persons using the Apple or Android Remote Microphone (using your phone as a microphone) as this is no longer supported. (On the bright side, this "feature" when misused accounted for a large number of support calls, so the product should be more reliable for other users now that this is no longer supported.)

Persons using Windows XP or Windows Vista. The software does not load on either of these operating systems.

Persons using Office 2003. Those using Office 2007 will likely find it works OK, but there is no support for Office 2007 in either Release 13 or DPI.

Persons very happy with Dragon 13 or Dragon Professional Individual.

Dragon 12 users using a large number of "non-standard" applications who currently use Natural Language commands for editing and correcting dictated text within these applications. In many cases, Release 13 and Dragon Professional Individual make the use of the Dictation Box needed for these applications. Dragon Professional Individual includes more control over Dictation Box options so is a better choice than 13, but in some cases still not as good as 12.5. This should be balanced with other benefits of Dragon Professional Individual 15 including better command performance and generally more accurate dictation than Dragon 12.5. Economically, users in this category should consider buying the upgrade to DPI 15 as it is unlikely that upgrade pricing will be available from Release 12 to a future Release 16.

GENERAL EXPERIENCE

Custom commands with Arabic numerals or lower-case single character words in command names need to be changed to written out words or upper-case letters in many cases.

ORDERING

As of October 2018, we are no longer offering these upgrades as we are shutting down Softnet Systems, Inc. at the end of 2018.

 


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