Nuance comes at voice interactions in a slightly different way with Dragon Assistant than Google does with Now. Google Now is a search tool first and foremost, but there are some assistant-type functions grafted on too. Dragon Assistant is more conversational and handles a few complex tasks very well. In fact, it just got a better at a number of things. Nuance is releasing a big 4.0 update on Google Play.

2013-06-17 22.22.03 2013-06-17 22.27.46 2013-06-17 22.20.41

This version brings more automation to the app so you'll hopefully have to touch your phone even less. The wake up word for Dragon's speech recognition engine can now be changed to whatever you want, even "Computer" in your best Captain Picard voice, if that's what you want (it is definitely what I want). The way Dragon handles emails is also new, and I have to say, it's very impressive from my testing.

Here is the full v4.0 changelog:

  • Customizable Wake Up Word – So whether it’s “Hi Dragon,” or “Hello Dolly,” Dragon is ready to respond and deliver 
  • Auto-detection for Intelligent, Hands-free Driver Mode – Dragon knows when users are in a moving vehicle and can automatically switch over to hands-free, eyes-free Driver Mode, keeping people connected in a safer, smarter way.
  • Inbound message alerts – Dragon will read your incoming messages aloud, and allows you to reply with a single button tap
  • Voice-enabled Email creation – Now you can dictate emails with your voice

2013-06-17 22.25.02 2013-06-17 22.25.08 2013-06-17 22.24.02

I'm also happy to report the new version of Dragon passes the Hitchhiker's Guide test with flying colors. The app is supposed to go live any minute now, so give the Play Store a little time to get up to speed.

Update: v4.0 is now live.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Ahmaz

    Not available for my region/GNex apparently.. can we get an APK?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The update hasn't rolled out yet, it's still propagating.

      • Ahmaz

        Oh I see.. a bit of a Google Play newbie here.. I would have thought if it's showing up on Google Play means that it is already available haha.

      • abhisahara

        What about it not being available in the country. Could it work via an apk ??

    • Andrew Kachaniwsky

      This app is incompatible with all of your devices.

      No Canada love! :(

  • Leonardo Baez

    what about non english language recognition?

  • ChristianAhlin

    Voice+tasker+home automation
    "Computer, activate lights"
    "Computer, unlock the door" (lockitron)
    "Computer, please create x" (fiverr?)

  • Philpot

    Why not compatible with the Galaxy S3 in the UK?

  • Squigly

    Region restricted. APK anyone?

  • HellG

    Can someone tell me how companies like this make money of free programs like this one?

    • Matthew Fry

      Swype costs money (although very little) and so does the Dragon Speaking software for PC/Mac. I assume they all leverage the same recognition engine. I'd guess it's a way to lure people into being familiar with the brand/speech recognition engine hoping they'll transition to something else.

  • acey_zero

    Will the wake up word actually wake the device from full screen-off sleep?

  • Matthew Fry

    So.... is this a different version of the engine than the one bundled with Swype?

  • Doug Mason

    What's the Hitchhiker's Guide test?

    • Qliphah

      42, note the last screenshot.

  • Al

    Agghhh.... Not available in the UK!!!!

  • PeterK

    Nooooooo...t available for Polish market... How dear they?! :(