Nuance released on Thursday a new speech-to-text app for Mac users called Dragon Express. The pared-down app features the same speech recognition engine as its full-featured, $199 cousin Dragon Dictate, but at a much lower price.
We have already reviewed Nuance's Dragon Dictate, which offers features like direct, in-app input, voice-based editing controls, voice commands to control you Mac, and more. Dragon Express is more akin to Dragon Dictation on iOS—activate the app (you can configure a hotkey), say something out loud, and your speech is converted to text. The text can then be sent to the clipboard and pasted into any other app. It can also be sent to any active text box in any currently running native Cocoa app.
Nuance said that Dragon Express can work with either your Mac's built-in mic or an optional USB headset. We haven't been able to test the app's accuracy without a headset just yet, but our experience with the iOS app suggests it should be good enough to at least give you a workable rough draft. If your typing speed isn't that great, or hampered by a repetitive-stress injury, Dragon Express could be a big help.
Dragon Express has a few more tricks up its sleeve, too. Using a limited selection of voice commands (or merely clicking the requisite icon on the app's toolbar), you can send the translated speech to Facebook, Twitter, in an e-mail, perform a Spotlight search on your Mac, or search online using Google.
Dragon Express only runs on Mac OS X Lion and is available now from the Mac App Store for an "introductory" price of $49.99.