Dragon Search is a nice app. Here’s how it works: open the app, hit one button, speak the phrase you want to search for. By default the app stops listening and starts the search when you pause so you don’t have to hit another button when you’re done.
The app comes up quickly, which from a practical standpoint is extremely important. And in my experience so far the search has been fast. There’s also a button you can push to cancel out of the search. The big plus of this application is the different search channels: Google, iTunes, Twitter, Wikipedia, and YouTube. You can search for something, like green apples, and the results will come up in the channel you used last. Once you’ve done a search you can switch channels easily to see results across channels.
I have a couple of practical suggestions.
1. The history list is just three items long — I’d like a much longer scrolling history list. Google Voice Search has a long scrolling list that includes dates. I would’ve liked to have seen Nuance improve on that.
2. I’d also like to be able to add my own channel.
I’ll also take the opportunity to repeat what I said a couple of days ago. I appreciate the progress on speech apps — don’t get me wrong. But speech on the iPhone is still not what I really want, which is system-level speech control of a mobile device that would give me the option to use speech for anything. These new apps are steps in the right direction — making the iPhone more hands-free. But there’s still a long way to go.
The second fastest way to look up a word in a dictionary using Utter Command is to select the word, then say “This Dictionary Search”. This command looks up the selection in dictionary.com and returns the results in a browser page.
The fastest way is to combine selecting the word and searching. For instance, “Word Dictionary Search”.
You can use these commands whether or not a browser is open.
Keyboard shortcuts are powerful tools for the speech interface because they work across all programs and they can be combined — you can say several keyboard shortcuts in one phrase to speed things up.
This is why we encourage all software makers to make all features available via keyboard shortcuts.
Google is experimenting with adding keyboard shortcuts to search results. Here are the experimental keyboard shortcuts:
||Selects next result
||Selects previous result
|Enter (or Letter O)
||Opens selected result
||Moves cursor to search box
||Moves cursor to results
And here’s how to speed things up further with Utter Command combinations:
|Letter J Â· Enter
||Opens next result
|Letter K Â· Enter
||Opens previous result
|J Times 1-100
||Moves down 1-100 and selects result
|K Times 1-100
||Moves up 1-100 and selects result
|J Times 1-100 Â· Enter
||Moves down 1-100 and opens result
|K Times 1-100 Â· Enter
||Moves up 1-100 and opens result
|Escape Â· Enter
||Moves cursor to results and opens
To try these out
1. Go to the Google experimental page www.google.com/experimental/1
2. Under the Keyboard Shortcuts heading click “Join Experiment”
3. Go to regular Google search www.google.com2 or Advanced Google search www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en3, type a query, then try the shortcuts on the results.
As long as you’re logged in you’ll be able to use these shortcuts in the regular and advanced Google search pages.