Forget the iPhone virtual keyboard. Thanks to the Dragon Dictation iPhone application from Nuance you have a personal assistant to transcribe your emails and texts. The app records your voice and sends the information to Nuance's servers.
What comes back is text that can be pasted directly into an email, SMS or sent to the clipboard for use in other applications. According to the developers, transcription is five times faster than typing. The app uses a single button to start recording.
Unlike Apple's built-in voice control, Dragon Dictation requires a data connection since it transcribes speech remotely. Some users voiced privacy concerns over part of the software license agreement. Nuance addressed the privacy concerns on their website:
Dragon Dictation for the iPhone goes through your contact list on your iPhone and uploads the names to our server. We do this for a pretty simple reason: we found that people are often dictating names from their address book and expect the names to be recognized. We take this information and create an anonymous user profile for your device that understands what names are likely to dictate into a document. It's important to note that we only upload the names, not the e-mail addresses, phone numbers or any other personally identifying information from your contacts.Even though there is no personally identifying information, we still treat all of this information with the highest privacy standards.
Dragon Dictation is available free for a limited time. Nuance is also planning to release Dragon Search, an application that will allow users to speak a search term and send it to search engines, Wikipedia, YouTube and other websites.