Lawyers, doctors, and maybe a few others are the last hold outs for dictation. I can’t blame anyone for not jumping sooner. Although I never got into the dictation process in my law practice, as demands on my time increase, I can see some of the benefits.
That’s why I thought one useful post might be to discuss two of the popular dictation (voice recording not voice transcription) applications available on Android.
The first app is Dictadroid. The app comes in a free (lite) version and paid ($1.99) version. I can’t really tell the difference between the two apps, except it appears Dropbox support is not available with the free version, and you’re limited to 5 minute recordings. Obviously, at $1.99, Dictadroid full version is a bargain, and well worth the upgrade.
The home screen is ubiquitous and simple. To add a new recording, you simply press the plus key.
The record screen is easy to use with straight forward functions, including record, forward and back, play, and insert, which is a pretty cool function. Once you’re done, saving the recording is easy.
You can also share using a number of Android apps, my favorite being Dropbox (full version).
Although I’m not entirely sure what you’re going to do with the recording once you share it, I like the multi-use approach. I suspect one option is to import the .WAV file into Dragon Naturally Speaking or similar program.
There are several amicable settings changes that give this program some variety, including sharing to a default email address or phone number.
Overall, I like this app.
The second app, which is also very useful, is Winscribe. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with Winscribe is that you need an account with Winscribe, no information in their website about cost, in order for you to send, transcribe, and create documents.
As you can see from the video, this app has some cool features like barcode reading (use the Barcode Scanner) to store dictations to a particular matter.
Although the recording interface is pretty goofy-looking (I suspect it’s an easy-to-use design), its functions are top-notch.
Unfortunately, the “free” version is severely limited (and if it isn’t, I couldn’t figure how to do it) in its abilities to take pictures, attach maps, and other things to the recording.
From all of the materials, this app appears to satisfy many needs. I could see many attorneys using this app for a variety of legal matters. Pictures of a personal injury lawyer visiting an accident scene, a real estate attorney investigating a property, or a criminal defense attorney taking notes of his/her claim, all come to mind. If the price is right on the service fee, then I’m going to suggest you jump onto this boat.
Right now, my clear winner is Dictadroid. It’s cheap, easy-to-use, and has a variety, not just one proprietary, of methods for sharing the dictation file.
Update 02/15/12: I checked into the pricing of Winscribe. It’s actually not that bad at $365 per user, per year. The Winscribe representative tells me they’ll host your files (which I’m slightly leery of) and allow you to send the files to your designated transcriptionist. I still love the potential uses for Winscribe, especially since I think the application could save a lot of time and confusion for attorneys.