Lately, our dear leader Artem has been preaching the usefulness of Google Docs' dictation feature, which allows you to transform your speech into words. However, to use it, he's had to constantly have a Google Doc open. But according to a code change request, Chrome OS will soon have this functionality built into the system as an accessibility feature. (Too bad Artem doesn't often use a Chromebook.)
Thumb Keyboard, one of the most intuitive, well-designed, and practical keyboards available (especially for tablet users) got a big update recently, bringing the app up to version 4.5.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to the new update is that Thumb Keyboard now supports ICS' continuous voice recognition, which in case you've forgotten, is the feature introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich that actively listens and dictates your speech. This is a feature I haven't seen in other alternative keyboards, and it's definitely nice to have. Other big additions include gesture support as well as a new one-handed layout for phones with larger displays.
A new beta update for Swype has begun rolling out and will hit tester's handsets over the next 72 hours. The big changes, if you couldn't tell by the title, are Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) support and the integration of Dragon GO! - unsurprising, since Swype was purchased by Nuance and Dragon Dictation support has been rolled in since December. Specifically, the update adds functionality to the "Dragon" key which allows users to dictate speech using the infamous engine, as well as launch the Dragon GO! app.
Other improvements include improved prediction accuracy, and a few bugfixes regarding language modeling and dictionaries.
Nuance, the company behind Dragon Dictation, bought out Swype almost three months ago, but the results of the deal haven't really been exposed since. No longer -- Swype has just been updated with a "Dragon Flame" key that, when pressed, initiates a voice-to-text system provided by none other than Dragon Dictation. In its current form, it features support for French, Italian, German, and English, with Swype representatives claiming more languages are on the way in 2012.
Additionally, Swype's language modeling algorithm has been improved. What's that mean? In the company's words, this will "increase the accuracy of the suggestions we offer (such as knowing that you mean 'mosh pit' instead of 'mosh pot')." The system analyzes your writing and shapes its predictions around the context of your sentences.