The perils of beta software

If you’ve ever seen my Youtube review channel (most people haven’t because I don’t normally publicize it) you’ll know that I’m a big fan of voice recognition dictation software.

In particular I have used Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Dragon Dictate (the Mac version) for quite some time – from version 1 in fact. That’s a long time.

A lot of people complain about those programs and the customer support given by Nuance. Personally, I’ve always found the programs useful and each new generation has got better and better.

But I recently installed the Yosemite beta on my Macbook. It looks great and it works pretty well. However, a few applications don’t currently work with it. Dragon Dictate 4 is one of them. It’s a pity, because Dragon Dictate 4 appears to have pretty astonishing accuracy of recognition.

The problem here is that I don’t really need the Yosemite beta. I installed something because it was shiny and new and now it’s not playing nice with some software that I do need on a regular basis.

Not the end of the world, by any means, of course. But it is a bit of a nuisance.

What may not be obvious is that very often applications are launched in what is effectively beta status. The vendors don’t always tell you that, but if anything is brand new and shiny, you should probably expect a few teeting troubles before it settles down into a solid performing application.

I’ve seen that with a few internet marketing related products, most notably OptimizePress 2 and the RunClick Hangouts plugin.

So for now I have to type the old-fashioned way when I’m using my Mac. I can’t take advantage of Dragon Dictate 4, which I’ve found to be uncannily accurate. It’s not quite as good as Dragon NatuarallySpeaking 13 on a Windows machine, but it’s good.

Yosemite officially launches in the “Autumn” so it shouldn’t be long before Nuance update Dragon for the new operating system. At least, I’m hoping it won’t be too long.