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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Thank you, Google! Chrome starts supporting WSR!

Some time ago I posted that I was abandoning Chrome until it supports Windows Speech Recognition (WSR). 

I did go back to Chrome after some time as I became more embroiled in the different Google Apps services, but I have always found it irritating that speech recognition wasn’t supported.

Every once in awhile I try it again and found today an important improvement.

WSR does work in GMail now, albeit just with the “dictation scratchpad”, but that is a big improvement.  It doesn’t quite work in Google Docs, but I’m hopeful they’ll get that working soon.

Thanks, Google!

BTW: I actually don’t know if this is Google’s doing or the result of a Windows patch . . . I hope it is the former, otherwise this is likely the end-state.

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Abandoning Chrome until it supports WSR

I use speech recognition a great deal – and I recently switched to Windows Speech Recognition on Vista.  And I’ve been using Chrome exclusively for Google Apps, because I think it offers superior performance for JavaScript apps.

Unfortunately, Chrome doesn’t support WSR.  According to Rob Chambers this would be easy for Google to do, and I suspect it is just an oversight on their part (both in terms of making their software more accessible as well as following Windows best practices).

Google:  when are you going to put the effort into this?  The Chrome 2.0 Beta doesn’t do it either.

Rob Chambers: how easy is this really?  You also said that Firefox does support WSR – maybe it does, but not in Google Docs.

So now, I’m using IE8.  Google Docs with WSR works great there.

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Vista over NaturallySpeaking

I am a heavy user of speech recognition technology.  I find that I can write faster than typing (and I have a reputation for being a fast typist).

I have been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking for several years now.  Every new edition has gotten a little bit better.  And I’ve found it quite useful except that the last two versions have tended to get corrupted databases.  And now, I will very commonly get some error that causes it to lock up.  I have found that it tends to fail if I switch around between different applications.

Of course, I am an avid multitasker, so these errors has become really irritating, and essentially stopped me from using voice recognition.  I just can’t commit to staying in a single application for very long.

Today, I started using the speech recognition built into Vista.  While I am struggling a little bit with differences in the verbal commands,I am already sold.  Why?

  • It feels much faster.
  • I can switch between applications with no problems.
  • The recognition engine is doing a terrific job with very little training.

I know that while I continue to use this I may come up with some problems, but so far I’m blown away.

Plus, Vista doesn’t try to sell me things through its auto-update feature.

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