Dragon for Mac is Dead – Nuance Discontinues Software Immediately with No Future Updates

Dragon-Mac-Discontinued
Looks like this dude’s been busy lately; first NaturallySpeaking 13, now Dragon for Mac. (Photo by Yomex Owo on Unsplash)

In a move that is likely to anger and dismay Mac users, Nuance has dropped a bombshell. Dragon Professional Individual 6 has been discontinued with immediate effect; there will be no updates to the existing software and no further versions produced.

In other words, Dragon for Mac is dead.

Via a press release, Nuance stated: “Dragon Professional Individual for Mac is being discontinued effective 10/22/2018 and will no longer be available for purchase…Customers who have purchased Dragon Professional Individual for Mac version 6 (“Software”) benefit from a perpetual license to the Software and may continue using the Software.  Nuance will no longer provide updates for the Software after 10/22/2018”.

While Dragon on the Mac platform has never been at the same level as the Windows software, things did seem to be improving. The release of version 6 was disastrous at launch – buggy, unstable and borderline unusable. But things improved dramatically and, with the last 6.0.8 update, it seemed like Mac users finally had a version of Dragon nearer in stability and features than ever to the PC equivalent. Despite this, Nuance has pulled the plug.

For anyone who has bought the software within the last 30 days, it might be worth exercising your right to a refund. While you can continue to use Dragon, it’s anyone’s guess as to when or if it will stop working as Nuance does not guarantee compatibility with the latest version of macOS, Mojave. Wyvern Business Systems are reporting the following:

“During testing we have experienced a few glitches but it seems manageable currently, however future updates may cause further issues, or cause the software to stop all together.”

All traces of the software have been removed from Nuance’s web site and it is no longer offered for sale. You can still buy it from the likes of Amazon and eBay but, with a very real prospect of it being disabled by an OS update and no hope of a fix, it wouldn’t be a wise way to spend your money.

Obviously, this news brings huge ramifications for Mac users from both an accessibility and workflow standpoint. While the Windows software undoubtedly has a larger installed user base, the majority of writers I come across are using Macs. With no viable native solution (and no realistic competition), Mac users should consider using the Windows software via a virtual machine – something I have long advocated.

EDIT: Update, June 2019

Just tested and Dragon 6.0.8 does NOT work at all in MacOS 10.15 Catalina (Developer Beta). Installs but crashes on launch. As Dragon itself won’t be updated, I can’t see this changing for the public release.

Looks like this is the end of the line, folks.

Dragon Mac Catalina

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49 thoughts on “Dragon for Mac is Dead – Nuance Discontinues Software Immediately with No Future Updates”

    1. I am in fact using Dragon 6.0.8 to dictate this. I am also using the latest version of Mac OS, Mojave 10.14.5. As long as the application receiving the dictation is added to the list of applications able to control the computer in the systems accessibility panel, Dragon works like a charm and is now a rather stable program. It is ironic that Dragon is finally stable as a result of operating system upgrades, and after having been abandoned by its developer. This entire text was dictated using Dragon 6.0.8 with the Apple Safari browser, and without any editing or corrections.

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      1. Dear NM, et al.:

        I am similarly using Dragon 6.0.8 to dictate this on Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6, although I do have to make a few corrections. It works well in every application except Safari. As a physician, I depend on Dragon every day for dictation for medical records. For some reason, it works well on every computer I have except the iMac at my office, which is also running 10.14.6, but it crashes every time I open it with the same error message described above by Scott Baker.

        Scott, or anybody else, any idea what conflicts on one machine running 10.14.6 with 64 GB of RAM might cause 6.0.8 to crash? I really need it to work on this one computer as long as possible.

        And, any news on speech recognition in Catalina? Will it allow correction? Will it learn vocabulary?

        Thanks!

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  1. Scott, whichh of the virtualization programs best Immitate pc for using dragon?

    Also, which is the best version for ovelists of windows dragon? John Blair

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    1. Boot Camp is free with your Mac but requires you to restart the computer into Windows and back into macOS. Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion allow you to run Windows right on your Mac desktop. In my experience, Parallels provides the most seamless experience.

      The only version for Windows you should buy is Dragon Professional Individual 15. All other prior versions are now discontinued and Home 15 does not allow transcription or custom vocabulary training.

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      1. Thanks, Scott
        Do you know if Nuance is going to give a discount or anything to help Mac customers?
        I saw that Amazon is selling IP 15 at about 30% discount.
        John Blair

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    1. Not to anywhere near the same level as on the desktop software. There’s no profile saved locally in Dragon Anywhere. You can add custom words and phrases but it’s a much more limited product and doesn’t work offline. No transcription either.

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  2. Some may say no big deal that software sucks. Well, for someone like myself who uses the software daily to control his Mac completely by voice it’s a big deal. I have no use of my arms and since Dragon Dictate 2.0 I’ve been able to use my Mac completely hands-free by voice complements of Dragon Dictate for Mac. Being able to use a computer completely hands-free is very enabling for a high-level quadriplegic. I was looking forward to upgrading to macOS Mojave but now it looks like I’m screwed.

    I know Apple has built-in voice recognition. It’s pretty good but it lacks all the features needed to run the computer hands-free by voice. I know Apple has the resources and expertise to add these missing features. How do I get them interested in enhancing macOS built-in speech recognition to allow complete operation of the Mac by voice? If you want to do me and others with physical limitations that need to control their computer by voice a favor go and create a macOS enhancement request as I describe here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5iu9xsjgw6rka7u/Dragon%20for%20Mac%20Favor%20Request.pdf?dl=0

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  3. OK, so I have been following this thread closely as I use Dragon Dictate for Mac 6.0.8 every day to dictate into Mac medical software. I’m afraid to update to Mojave. Here’s my question: if I get Dragon individual professional 15 for Windows (I have Windows 10 running in Parallels 14), will I be able to dictate natively into my Mac medical software?

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    1. Short answer: no. Long answer: As DPI15 is a Windows program, you cannot dictate directly into a Mac program, even when running in Parallels. You can, however, dictate into Notepad in DPI15 and copy/paste into your Mac’s medical software.

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      1. So with running DPI15 through parallels will I be able to dictate into the MS office for Mac programsD directly? Please tell me that I wouldn’t have to do everything in Notepad and then copy it?

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  4. I’m one of those Dragon for mac users who didn’t realise the software would break when I upgraded to Mojave, so got stung by that, and my copy of Dragon refused to load – because it would not accept the totally legit serial number. I contacted support (don’t ask, took days, major trauma) and they said trying to use a serial number with Mojave would invalidate that serial number. But they kindly reset it for me so I could use it in a different mac still using High Sierra. That was in January 2019.
    Then, the other day, when I turned on my main machine Dragon has automagically launched and was in a working condition – on the mac using Mojave. I’ve tested this again today and it still works. I’ve got no idea why or how. But anyone caught in the same bind, try relaunching Dragon. It might now work. (Warning – if it doesn’t and asks for your serial number don’t enter that as it will lock the serial number and you’ll have to contact support to get it unlocked!)

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    1. I’ve been using Dragon for Mac 6.08 with Mohave for quite a while. I never had any issues with the transition, or with it since. Never even knew about the discontinuing of the product until last night. I have been a Dragon user for 20 years since version 4, and finally with version 13 switched over to a Mac and have been horribly disappointed in the Mac version compared to the Windows version. I’m probably going to have to get the version 15, and run it through parallels and either copy and paste everything, or get MS office for Windows

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  5. Hi, I’m very new to this and have been absorbing the information.

    What I’d like to be able to do is transcribe my files from a digital recording device to my Mac but since we can no longer do this using Dragon, I’ve been researching other options.

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned services like sonix.ai or others. Am I missing something?

    Surely I can upload my files to this service then copy the transcription straight over into my Pages document.

    Thoughts?

    Damian

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    1. You can still do this – Dragon 6.0.8 is still working in Mojave 10.14.4 at the time of writing. Alternatively, you can use Dragon 15 for Windows via Boot Camp or Parallels.

      Services like Sonix are also perfectly viable, but they get expensive fast – an individual subscription is $15 per month plus $6 for every hour of transcription. I also wonder how well they would cope with things like complex vocabularies, character and place names, things you can easily train Dragon to transcribe correctly.

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      1. Thanks Scott. I listened to your podcast with the Australian lady straight after writing that reply and Parallels along with Dragon15 sounds like the perfect answer.

        Cheers.

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  6. Dear Dragon Mac friends — please help! I am trying to do as recommended and run Dragon Home 15 on my Mac via Parallels. But the darn program won’t download! Nuance’s Download Manager keeps saying “creating download” and then never downloads the program. When I called Nuance’s customer support, I was told flat-out that what I was trying to do would not work, because the program was designed for a physical PC machine, not a virtual machine on a Mac.

    How did you guys get yours to work?? Is the problem that I got the Home version instead of the Professional version?

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    1. I’m watching this thread as I too am about to plunge in with the investment. Could you possibly pay the difference and get the upgrade to the Professional version? It’s the dictation capabilities (existing only in Professional) which attracts me the most so it might be worthwhile.

      Worst comes to worst, I’d have to buy a PC to install the software. From what I read, you get unlimited devices with a license.

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    1. Dana, that’s exciting news! Finally, it sounds like there’ll be correction in Dictation in Catalina! Can’t wait to learn more, but still hoping that Dragon 6.0.8 will continue to run in Catalina.

      Has anybody tried Dragon 6.0.8 on the Catalina beta??

      Thanks,

      Jim Bates

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    2. Dana – I’m currently testing the new Voice Control in the Catalina beta. It’s very promising but not a full-fledged Dragon replacement just yet. It’s much better than Enhanced Dictation though.

      Jim – see the update at the bottom of the post above. Dragon 6.0.8 no longer works in Catalina.

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  7. Scott, thanks for your reply! I’d love to see the screenshot but I cannot seem to find the update you’re referring to in your post. All I see is a link to Apple’s website preview of Catalina. Could you send a link to the update referred to?

    Thank you!

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      1. Oh, OK, I get it now. That’s very disappointing. I guess I’ll hold off on updating to Catalina as long as possible.

        I hope you will keep us updated on correction and vocabularies with Dictation in Catalina!

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  8. I am also testing Voice Control Scott. I can confirm it the last update when you try to add a new word to the vocabulary it no longer crashes. I hope you are leaving Apple lots of feedback. I have. Have you figured out how to edit the correction choices? Is it not possible at this point?

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  9. I was using dragon mac medical, upgraded to mojave, dragon is loaded but doesn’t dictate to any note book or web pages, any suggestions from those that have it working in mojave.

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    1. Chris, my experience is that in Mojave you must add Dragon to System Preferences>Privacy>Accessibility in order for it to work. In addition, you must add any app that you want it to dictate into to the preference pane as well.

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    2. Chris, I also notice you mentioned you’re using Dragon Mac Medical, which I also used for a long time, but it’s old and hasn’t been upgraded. The most recent version of Dragon Dictate for Mac v. 6.0.8 works well in Mojave, with the specified adjustments.

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      1. I currently have dragon 5.0.4
        When I hit upgrade it tells me that it is the newest version available
        How can I get the last eat version
        Thanks

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      2. You cannot upgrade v5.0.4 to v6.0.8 as you have a v5 license. You would need to purchase v6 which I cannot recommend as the software is discontinued. Dragon Medical for Mac is also discontinued so the only real solution is to switch to the Windows versions, either via Parallels/Boot Camp etc or on a dedicated PC.

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  10. Apart from controlling the computer, how accurate is the native iOs dictation, is it comparable to Dragon? Can it be trained? Vocab added ?
    I am a Windows user, so my interest is only for my Mac customers.

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    1. Not currently. The new version in macOS Catalina and iOS 13 called Voice Control, however, allows a custom vocabulary and continuous offline dictation. It’s not as powerful as Dragon, sadly, and beta testing currently shows no way to train it. It’s a vast improvement over the previous built-in dictation though.

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  11. I advise any Nuance customer who purchased the Mac version to ask for a refund as I just did.
    I bought it 4 months before they shut it down (I didn’t realize it until now when the last upgrade prevented Dargon operating).
    I think that all Mac customers are treated unfairly and should be compensated by Nuance.

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  12. I was really looking forward to dictating as part of my writing tools and read your book on the subject. Then discovered that Dragon for Mac is discontinued. I’m wondering if I purchased one of the discontinued Dragon for Mac 5, and use it on my older Mac Laptop which has not been updated since Yosemite 10.10 if it would work as long as I don’t update the computer?

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    1. Version 5 is pretty old and uses an older speech engine but it will work (although it’s pretty buggy). You may be better off with a discounted version of v6 – you can at least update that to 6.0.8 (the last update ever) and run it all the way to macOS Mojave without issue.

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      1. I’m thinking I might get a discontinued Dragon Professioinal Individual for Mac version 6 and use it on my newer Mac laptop that has macOS SIERRA VERSION 10.12.6. I hope that would work for transcription. The other possibility is that I might get a PC but would be better if I could just stick with my MAC. I basically just want to transcribe from a voice recorder.

        Like

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