In a one-two punch for iPhone voice-recognition apps, Nuance Communications has issued Dragon Search, a speech-to-search app that follows the company's recent release of Dragon Dictation, a voice-dictation tool.
Dragon Search translates your voice queries into text and performs a wide-ranging Web search. If you’re looking to go beyond Google, you’re in luck. The app lets you choose from a variety of search engines and other Websites including Yahoo, Bing, iTunes, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, and of course, Google itself.
When you open the app, you get a simple screen with a red button. Tap the button to record your voice query. Nuance then deploys its extensive experience in speech recognition to provide an accurate set of results. In my brief testing the app had no trouble deciphering my voice.
Dragon Search tries to distinguish itself from Google’s own search app, first by offering that choice of search engines, and second by giving you some eye-candy. The Dragon Search Carousel is a scrolling interface that lets you switch to results from various sources.
The iTunes search is particularly handy, and the other media options—Twitter, Wikipedia, and YouTube—are always available from the carousel. But you have to select a default search engine and can’t switch on the fly from Google to Yahoo to Bing.
Dragon Search, like Dragon Dictation, is available in the App Store at no charge for a limited time. It requires an iPhone running OS 3.1 or better (sorry, iPod Touch owners).