Last year Nuance introduced Dragon Mobile Assistant for Android, its latest entry into the voice-activated smartphone assistant genre. Today the company has released version 3.0 of the app with an assortment of usability enhancements, including location sharing and the ability to dial users into scheduled calls automatically. As before, you can tap on the microphone icon in the app itself or call it into action simply by speaking the words "Hi Dragon." From there, you can share your location with a voice command — "Tell Dieter where I am," for example — and the recipient will then receive a message, complete with a link that pinpoints your location on a map. It works in the reverse as well; asking "Where's Sam" will bring up a map showing their location, assuming they approve the request.
Designed to avoid swipes and taps
The app can also scan your calendar for any upcoming calls you have scheduled. When the time comes, it will ask you if you'd like to be dialed in automatically — a nice touch, particularly if you have a lot of calls scheduled from day to day. The emphasis on letting users take care of business without resorting to numerous swipes and taps also manifests itself in the enhanced text message features. Previous versions of the app let users dictate texts via voice, but version 3.0 will also read any incoming texts, allowing you to hear your messages and respond without having to take your phone out of your pocket (Bluetooth headset support is included now as well).
With hands-free use and anticipatory systems becoming an increasingly important part of the way we interact with mobile devices — one need only look to Siri and Google Now for the two most high-profile examples — the kind of small but eminently useful touches like the ones Nuance is rolling out here become increasingly important. The newest version of Dragon Mobile Assistant is a clear sign that no matter how stiff the competition may be, Nuance has no intention of giving up on this segment of the market anytime soon. If you'd like to try the new update out for yourself, it's available now in the Google Play Store.