Dragon for Mac is Dead – Nuance Discontinues Software Immediately with No Future Updates (EDIT: Still working for many users)

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

Please read the updates at the bottom of this post and in the comments below for up-to-date info on this topic.

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

EDIT: Update, November 2019

Many posts in the comments are reporting continued success running Dragon 6.0.8 in the final public release of macOS Catalina. While the software remains end-of-life and unsupported, this appears to be great news (for now) for any Mac users who have invested in this version of the software. Keep an eye on the comments for any further developments; a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the time to leave a post to let other Mac users know the state of play.

postbanner

78 thoughts on “Dragon for Mac is Dead – Nuance Discontinues Software Immediately with No Future Updates (EDIT: Still working for many users)”

    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.

      Like

      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!

        Like

      2. Thanks for the tip about having the app on the list of those able to control the computer! I’ve been having issues for months, and it looks like you’ve just solved it here. I’m able to dictate into Scrivener without the random cursor jumps and extra characters 😀. Again, thanks so much for the tip–I need Dragon for a disability and have felt pretty hopeless since they abandoned Mac.

        Like

      3. Safari is problematic. Firefox and Chrome work better.

        An important command is “cache document” to apply after every manual editing so Dragon does not overwrite different areas.

        As a physician, you should really get Dragon Medical Practice Edition (currently version 4.3) on Windows. Dragon on the Mac cannot touch it and you will probably ask yourself what was I using?

        As for Catalina, the biggest change is that support for 32bit applications will drop. Whether Dragon will work or not remains to be seen, but as long as OS APIs Dragon uses remain unchanged, Dragon should work as previously.

        Like

      4. NM – I’d really like to try this! Can you outline the steps to setting the application on a Macbook Air 13.3″ 2019 running the lastest version of Mojave? I’m not super tech savvy! Thanks so much

        Like

      5. I’m intrigued that you would recommend Dragon Medical for Windows. I used to use Dragon Medical for Mac but it stopped being updated then was discontinued. I really don’t want to switch to a PC, and the main program I need to dictate into is Mac- only, so I really have to have a Mac solution, thanks.

        Like

      6. I am curious about which EMR you are using on the Macintosh platform. If you truly depend on speech recognition on the Mac platform, then you are using already outdated a tools that are no longer supported and it should be expected that they will ultimately fail.

        Meanwhile, Nuance still provides a viable individual solution for medical professionals that meets necessary standards including privacy, and furthermore supports their Dictaphone microphone, which is arguably the most productive microphone to use with Dragon.

        In contrast to the cloud-based solution used at medical enterprises, Dragon Medical Practice Edition 4.3 still supports programmability through their Visual Basic for applications alternative, and allows modification of the vocabulary, functionality sorely lacking in the enterprise version.

        If your practice of medicine is dependent upon speech recognition, you should be looking forward and leaving the Macintosh platform for speech recognition. If your EMR is entirely Macintosh dependent, then a viable option as long as you have adequate hardware resources is virtualization for running a Windows version of Dragon on your Macintosh, which is really not an ideal solution and in my opinion a waste of hardware resources.

        Like

      7. Dear NM:

        OK, my blood pressure is rising after reading your reply to me, but I’ll remain calm.

        To answer your question, I’m using MacPractice MD, which is very robust. Dragon for Mac 6.0.8 works extremely well with it. I am not, and have not, used an enterprise version or a cloud-based version of speech recognition, as you describe. It hurts personally to read your opinion that I (always proud of my state-of-the-art practice) am using outdated tools, although I do understand what you mean re: Dragon for Mac 6.0.8 being unsupported.

        I don’t understand why you believe that Dragon Medical Practice Edition for Windows is a better solution than what I’m currently doing. It certainly doesn’t sound like it to me. I can edit and expand the vocabulary, make corrections, and dictate as fast as I can speak with a very high rate of accuracy; I can use transcription; and, I get to keep the far superior functionality of a Mac over a PC. I don’t see the advantage of using “Medical” Dragon vs. regular Dragon. My profiles are pristine.

        You’ve recommended I leave the Macintosh platform. Visualization won’t work because my practice management software won’t run in Windows, and Scott Baker tells me that you cannot run Dragon in Windows on a Mac and dictate into a Mac program. So, I’m holding out on upgrading to Catalina, hoping beyond hope that it will eventually suffice.

        What, BTW, does NM stand for?

        Like

      8. I apologize if I upset you in any way and raised your blood pressure. Everything you said is true.

        Your copy of Dragon is bound to your hardware. In order to use it somewhere else, you need to inactivate it and activate it somewhere else.

        If you have a hardware failure, your license is going to be stuck. Do you know who to call at Nuance to restore your license?

        Let us say you want to get a new computer and install Dragon. You will have to go to eBay or some other place to buy a copy. Hopefully, the license will be valid and you will be able to activate it.

        How easy would it be to obtain another license for a new partner, for example?

        If an operating system update suddenly breaks functionality, how dependent are you on speech recognition?

        As far as recognition accuracy is concerned, Dragon Medical Practice Edition 4.3 uses the identical speech engine as Dragon Individual Professional 6.0.8.

        The bottom line is that you are using deprecated technology (if I’m not mistaken, Dragon 6.0.8 has not been maintained for two years now). Please don’t get upset about facts and opinions. Again, I am sorry if I upset you but I stand by everything I said. I will not be following this thread anymore. All the best to everyone.

        Like

      9. Open System Preferences.
        Click the Security & Privacy icon.
        in the left panel, scroll down to Accessibility.
        If the padlock down at the bottom is locked, unlock it and entered nutritive password.
        On the right side you see a plus and minus sign. It allows you to add programs to the list and click the checkbox next to them to allow them to control the computer. For programs to work properly with Dragon, they need to be in this list and checked for permission.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Correction: Dragon 6.0.8 is indeed one of the programs that I previously added to the list, in addition to all the programs to use with Dragon.

        Like

      2. It appears that Dragon works fine under Catalina on my preliminary testing. In order to protect my license, I first deactivated (Preferences -> License tab -> Deactivate) my local license in case Dragon would not work. After updating to Catalina, I started Dragon and immediately allowed Dragon to access local files and entered my registration key. I have not noticed any difference in performance or stability. Your mileage may vary.

        Like

  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

    Like

    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.

      Like

      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

        Like

    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.

      Like

  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

    Like

  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?

    Like

    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.

      Like

      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?

        Like

  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!)

    Like

    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

      Like

  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

    Like

    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.

      Like

      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.

        Like

  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?

    Like

    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.

      Like

    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

      Like

    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.

      Like

      1. Hi Scott:

        I got Dragon 6.0.8 to work under macOS Catalina. Maybe this was an issue with the beta version. Concerned about my license, I deactivated before upgrading to Catalina and reactivated. I did not have to reinstall to answer someone else’s question in this forum. This was dictated using Dragon.

        Like

  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!

    Like

      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!

        Like

  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?

    Like

  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.

    Like

    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.

      Like

    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.

      Like

      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

        Like

      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.

        Like

  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.

    Like

    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.

      Like

  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.

    Like

  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?

    Like

    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.

      Like

      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

  13. NM, if Dragon Medical Practice Edition 4.3 uses the identical speech engine as Dragon Individual Professional 6.0.8, what would be the advantage of switching? I’ve got all the vocabulary I need.

    Like

    1. Sorry, I missed this question. The Windows version although using the same engine has better facilities to correct utterances, modify vocabulary, etc. When dictating in programs such as Microsoft Word or other programs that use system-related panes for text entry, Dragon does a much better job of keeping track of cursor position, etc. The whole issue of getting confused and inserting text at the wrong location does not really exist on the Windows site. On the Macintosh side, you need to use AppleScript in order to control the system whereas on the Windows side, there are easy step-by-step commands to implement.

      Also, I find it a lot more productive to use the handheld microphone from Nuance for dictation that allows its buttons to be customized for various functions.

      The main concern I would have about Dragon on Macintosh is that it may simply cease to function at some point. I do not know how well Dragon Anywhere as a cloud-based option might work for you in that case.

      Having said that, I believe Nuance may have made a mistake leaving the Macintosh platform. Currently, mobile platforms are dominated by Apple and Google, who are implementing their own speech solutions. Mobile clients are becoming increasingly capable. It is obvious that people are using mobile clients more while desktop and laptop computers are losing ground. Alternatively, Nuance’s departure from the Macintosh platform might be an indicator of its future on Windows. Perhaps Nuance is planning to completely move to a cloud-based solution.

      Like

    1. Just curious, how did you “uninstall” Dragon? Is there an uninstaller program? Or did you just trash it? Were you able to use your existing profiles? Did you “de-authorize” Dragon first?

      Like

  14. Hi all. New here and only recently heard that Dragon for Mac had been discontinued.

    I updated to Catalina and as with the above examples have had no problems.

    I just did The regular upgrade and everything worked fine. I was quite shocked. I usually find that things that work for everyone else crash on my machines.

    I was all set to try running my Java of an external SSD. I don’t know if this would work, but no need for that currently.

    Like

  15. Hi. I’m a writer with a book deadline recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel. I’m a long-time Mac user working on a MacBook Air and I am poised to purchase windows 10, activate Boot Camp and change my subscription from MS Word for Mac to a Windows subscription.

    My question is before I spend close to $500 will this solution work on my MacBook running the latest version of Mac OS Catalina? Of course the idea of running parallels sounds a helluva of a lot more convenient but my first priority is reliable, trainable dictation software. Again, before I make this investment, do you think the solution of using bootcamp on my Mac will likely be effective with future dragon and macOS updates?

    If I have to, I’ll write my books on a PC, that they are utterly foreign creatures to me and I haven’t touched one in 30 years. Dictation on Catalina doesn’t cut it. I need a program I can train to recognize my voice and create custom vocabulary.

    Guidance welcome!

    Like

    1. You may want to look into a Dragon Anywhere subscription (I have never tried it, so it may be worth your time to research it), especially if you want to use your Mac (e.g. if you use Ulysses, Mellel, Pages or other macOS specific writing software). It may even allow a free trial or short subscription term to see how it would work (and at least I would appreciate hearing back how it worked for you). Personally, I avoid supporting subscription services.

      I used the Bootcamp option. I disliked the fact that it took up a lot of disk space. You would likely be paying $200 for Windows and VMWare Fusion or Parallels, plus whatever Dragon would cost you. Window is not as good a user experience on a Mac as it would be on a PC. It would work however. But your writing software would have to run under Windows. If you run it alongside macOS as a ritual machine, there would be a performance hit (not too bad, however). If you dual boot your Mac and log into Windows alone. there would be no appreciable performance hit.

      Running Dragon on a Windows PC will likely be a better “Dragon experience.” Some writing favorites are available on PC (and I imagine many PC exclusives) including IAWriter and the now over 3-years imminent Scrivener 3 for Windows.

      Like

    2. Caveat: I used Bootcamp on a MacBook Pro. Especially virtual machine performance on MacBook Air (i5 processor?) and the impact of an additional Windows partition on a potentially smaller disk may be too great for you.

      Like

      1. If you have an iPhone or iPad with the latest mobile OS installed try Voice Control. It’s pretty damn accurate and you can do a lot of manipulation by voice. It’s free and should be tried before you invest a lot of money in something else. Check out this demo video:

        How to use dictation and edit text with Voice Control on your iPhone — Apple Support

        | | | | | |

        |

        | | | | How to use dictation and edit text with Voice Control on your iPhone — A…

        With Voice Control, you can use dictation to edit text with your voice in emails, notes, messages, and anywhere … |

        |

        |

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s