Coexistence of LipSurf & Dragon Naturally Speaking?

Due to limitations imposed by ALS, I rely heavily on speech-to-text software. My default is Dragon Naturally Speaking (Professional edition 15.3) on a Windows 10 PC. (This is dictated using Dragon) Perhaps the weakest implementation across all PC software is Dragon’s web extension for Chrome. I’ve been delighted to discover LipSurf and find that it works incredibly well for navigating in Chrome. I do not have the Pro version installed (yet), but will likely do that to get the dictation features needed while using Chrome. Before going deeper into this I’m trying to explore a few issues:

  • Does anyone else out there have experience using both Dragon and LipSurf active at the same time?
  • Deciding when to use one vs. the other within a web app in Chrome?
  • With LipSurf Pro, can I avoid installing and using the Dragon extension completely within Chrome?

Any help navigating my way to more usable function will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Thanks for the interesting questions!

I don’t have firsthand experience using Dragon, but I know a bit about it. In regards to your second and third points, LipSurf at least aims to be a complete replacement for Dragon, and to do much more – with custom plugins for functionality that can be highly specific to your task.

Perhaps unlike Dragon, LipSurf is not only for accessibility, but also for productivity for the masses. We imagine a near future where everyone uses voice as 3rd interface right alongside the keyboard and mouse.

To your 3rd point, currently, the dictation feature in LipSurf is admittedly simplistic. However, that will completely change with v1.11 (v1.10 is being released this week). The current dictation is meant for short inputs such as search boxes. v1.11 will have more text editing features.

I would love to know your thoughts on must-have features other than a dictation mode for supplanting Dragon on the web.

Your quick reply is most appreciated. While LipSurf and Dragon’s markets definitely overlap, Dragon’s speech recognition, command set and specialized vocabularies for target markets like legal and medical disciplines have all been evolving for decades and work really well in the Windows platform. However, it has been a long-standing complaint with their product that it doesn’t operate well in the browser environment. That’s where LipSurf seems to shine, to me anyway! I think you’re right in that there are both specialized and mass markets. As someone who’s limitations makes me dependent on speech to text technology, I think that’s good – if such products weren’t aimed at the very broad market, they certainly would not be affordable for specialized cases like mine.

Will the V1.10 and V1.11 features be available in the free version or Pro? I certainly don’t mind paying for useful function – still trying to assess my options here.

To supplant Dragon in the web environment (Chrome browser) the first must-have is that it’s reliable and doesn’t need refreshing/restarting often. After that, the function I’ve already found in LipSurf makes it highly usable. Following that a basic set of dictation correction and formatting commands: the ability to select a word or phrase that was misinterpreted and then correct it; basic formatting like caps, bold, underline, numbers. There is more, sure, yet that would be a really solid base.

Thanks once again for your quick response, and for listening.

PS: I rely on speech-to-text software due to ALS limitations; please excuse transcription errors.

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I’ve heard this from every dragon user so far. Is there a forum where people discuss this limitation in dragon?

Releases can have features for both the pro and free versions. v1.10 (just released about an hour ago https://www.lipsurf.com/updates#1.10.0) has wake-word support (pro only) and push-to-talk key as well as lots of structural improvements to help with maintainability and stability. v1.11 will be similar in offering features for both parts, with an inclination in pro features.

Bugs are always a top-priority. Also, I’m very responsive :slight_smile: so if you ever have even the slightest issue/annoyance with LipSurf let me know and I’ll get on it right away. I can also be reached privately via email or phone support.

hi Miko – re: forums. Nuance Communications (the Dragon company) has no active user forums. However, another company called KnowBrainer is a large services firm operating in the speech-to-text market place, and they do. You can find out more about no-brainer here http://www.knowbrainer.com/index.cfm/about-us/
and find their forums here http://www.knowbrainer.com/forums/forum/index.cfm
There are about 31,000 registered users of the forums and by far the most active for them is the Dragon one. to date, there are no mentions of LipSurf in the forums.
…alan

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I also use Dragon but have had massive issues in using its Chrome extension. I only came across lip surf today, and I’m noticing that it can be awkward switching on and off between the two programs. Dragon is really useful for me in writing computer code and Word documents, but is completely useless for dictating emails and navigating the web.

The way I see them working at present is to turn off Dragon and turn on lip surf when I switch to chrome, and do the reverse when I switch to a different program. It will probably be awkward for sure, but much better than trying to use Dragon in chrome.

Tyler – I have no use of my arms/hands and use Dragon extensively for pretty much everything. For the last few months I’ve been using the in-development “Dev” version of “Microsoft edge on chromium” browser instead of Chrome. It runs Chrome extensions and like others, I’m finding it to be much more stable than Chrome with many extensions (such as Dragon). To see more: https://www.microsoftedgeinsider.com/en-us/download/
I also use lipsurf occasionally but lately have found that the “speech start” app by PC By Voice is a better complement to Dragon, and the two coexist quite nicely.
To see more: http://www.pcbyvoice.com/shop/pcbyvoice-speechstart-plus/
This combination of products is the most stable I found so far and also has almost all the function I’d like to be able to navigate and use all Windows apps purely by voice. I’m continuing to follow LipSurf and use it occasionally just to see how it’s coming along, but for now it’s not part of my default configuration.

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thanks for the pointers! I will have to check them out.

@Tyler_Ransom @AlanM You both mention that switching between Dragon and LipSurf is awkward, how exactly are you doing it?

I would bring Chrome into focus, then say “sleep” to Dragon. Then say “hey LipSurf” to activate LipSurf and when I need to switch outside of Chrome, just say “sleep” to turn off LipSurf and reactivate Dragon.

Would you be interested in a feature that perhaps would auto-activate LipSurf when Chrome comes into focus, and deactivate when it loses focus? I can perhaps make that an option.

Also @AlanM I don’t see what pcbyvoice offers for navigating the browser, but maybe I’m missing something. Have you seen these short demo videos where I demo new LipSurf functionality (https://twitter.com/lipsurfapp/status/1153956822727839744?s=20, https://twitter.com/lipsurfapp/status/1154533746650992640?s=20)

Also coming soon is much better Gmail integration. What else would you need to have LipSurf a part of your default setup, I’m very curious!

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Hi Miko – I’ll have to spend a bit more time exploring the latest updates, compatibility with Dragon, and compatibility of LipSurf as a Chrome extension within Microsoft’s “Chromium Edge” browser. This is all somewhat difficult to do when navigating windows only by voice, but I’ll see what I can do.
… Alan

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Just let me know what functionality is missing for you to make the switch, and I’ll make it happen.

Check out the new, super simple way to click links by speaking them:

I think Alan finds PC by voice helpful, because it allows you to move the mouse in any program using your voice. Unlike Alan, I use a regular mouse, so PC by voice is not as essential to me.

It could be useful to have LipSurf auto activate when chrome comes into focus, but for most of what I do, I would prefer to use Dragon.

I’ve already spent quite a bit of money on that software, so I’m not really wanting to pay a monthly subscription fee to LipSurf. Alan’s suggestion to use the development version of the Edge browser has been most helpful to me.

Understood! LipSurf has a lot of advantages over Dragon, most of our users switch over from Dragon after being fed-up over the years with Dragon’s disregard for fixing old bugs or lack of improvements. I will have a blog post soon that goes into detail.

BTW, it would be useful to know what it is exactly you need to do. I understand you already purchased Dragon and don’t want to purchase another piece of software just yet, but depending on what you need to do, LipSurf does a huge amount of things for free, forever.

That’s true. I do a lot of dictating of emails, which is where the cost comes into play.

I may give LipSurf a shot over the next little while.

Belatedly chiming in here! I’m very interested in a feature that only activates lipsurf when Chrome is focused. I’m currently using Mac Voice Control, in a similar way to how other users in this thread are using dragon, to control most of the applications and functionality on my Mac. However, it doesn’t work well with chrome at all. I can try and sleep voice control and then activate lipsurf, but I’m often flipping between Chrome and another program very quickly so it’s not very convenient to do so.

That’s possible and I like that idea. We could add another setting for that. Currently there’s a setting to only activate LipSurf via the wake-word when the Chrome window is focused (under Settings -> Wake-word) but I can see how it would be cumbersome to reactivate LipSurf when switching between windows.