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4W App Review: Dragon Mobile Assistant

I had the pleasure of meeting the Nuance team at CE Week 2013 and also got some hands-on time with Dragon Notes and the Dragon Mobile Assistant. I was so impressed with the tech demo for Dragon Mobile Assistant that I decided to give it a test run for a month. While it had some great features, there were some hiccups along the way.

What is it?

Dragon Mobile Assistant is a virtual assistant for your Android device offering speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities.

What does it do?

Need a text message sent or a contact dialed while driving? Dragon Mobile Assistant has got you covered. Users can also use this app to launch music, search the web and even buy tickets all without needing to launch the corresponding app every time.

What's wrong with it?

During my month-long test with Dragon Mobile Assistant, I did get occasional freezing. The biggest issue while using the app was that my phone got extremely hot and suffered significant battery drain. Since Dragon can start automatically while driving, it would activate with my phone at 100% and by the time I arrived at my office my battery would be down to 60%, which with the Note II is a big problem.  I also did not like the lack of verbal prompt or tone when using with my Bluetooth enabled car stereo. I found myself repeating a command twice to ensure it went through.

Why do you/don't you need it?

I personally needed it to replace Samsung's sub-par S-Voice application. While I would have loved to use Google Now on my Note II, I have to admit that Dragon Mobile Assistant did impress me with its great voice recognition and driving activation. If you are satisfied with the Google Now you may not see the purpose of this app, but I would give it a shot.

My Take:

Dragon Mobile Assistant kicks S-Voice's ass plain and simple.  When comparing it to Google Now, I found that both applications picked up my commands accurately. Dragon's driving mode is extremely impressive and one of the high points of this app. If it wouldn't have drained my battery and turned my phone into a small nuclear reactor I would still be using it.

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