Ina Fried

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Nuance’s Dragon Go Is a Voice-Powered Search App That Knows Where to Look

When it comes to voice-powered search, there are plenty of options. Of course, Bing and Google have voice search as a built-in option and there are plenty of other apps specializing in all manner of specific queries.

What makes Dragon Go a bit different is the fact that the new iPhone app often knows what to do with a specific query. Say “Play R.E.M.” and it opens Pandora. Say “buy tickets for Bridesmaids” and it will open Fandango. But say “Reviews for Bridesmaids” and it will open IMDB instead. Meanwhile, asking for a review of a restaurant should bring up Yelp while a query for reservations for that same restaurant polls OpenTable.

Nuance, which created the free app, has built an open architecture aimed at including all manner of vertical queries. At launch it supports more than 180 options from the aforementioned sites to services such as Yelp, Wikipedia and Google. And Nuance expects that number will continue to grow.

“We’ll see what kinds of things that people are interested in that maybe we didn’t anticipate,” Chief Creative Officer Gary Clayton said in a recent interview.

It’s the latest iPhone app from Nuance, which also offers the Dragon Dictation transcription program and Dragon Search, a more generic voice search application.

I played with Dragon Go some this week. It’s pretty easy and works much of the time, but the promotional video below overstates things a bit. The app can be amazingly adept at searching what one wants much of the time, but there are certainly times where it simply does a Google search for something close to — but not exactly — what one is searching for.

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