Dragon for Mac version 6 Review

Dragon has crashed again.

UPDATE 15/10/2016: I have now been using Dragon 6.0.1 for a couple of weeks, you can read my thoughts here.

UPDATE 28/9/2016:  I received a personal phone call from Jeff Lieman,  the manager of Engineering at Nuance,  encouraging me to try out and review the new version, Dragon 6.01, which was released today. I will try it out over the next few weeks and give you an update.

I’m so disappointed with the latest version of Dragon for Mac 6 released yesterday that I’m not even going to write a review. I will make some comments though for those who might be thinking of upgrading.

Dragon for Mac 6 (renamed Dragon Professional Individual for Mac, v6) crashes every few minutes. It does crazy mistakes like â€œagainn”, â€œconsistsnt” and “won’tt”.  There have been a couple of times it has taken complete control of my computer and spat out endless garbage like ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ

I cannot even force quit it because it is an invisible application.  I cannot go into activity monitor to quit because I have lost control of my keyboard. I’ve installed it on my Macbook Air but it’s too unstable to put on my main Mac.

Here are some comments from actual users:

“profound disappointment.” Kevin

“this version of Dragon is so much garbage that I thought I might be able to warn others” Zach

“Upgrading to dragon 6 is the worse decision I have made in a long time.” Max

“shouldn’t Nuance be beta-testing new releases with users so these bugs get squashed before a general release?” Jon

“I find it surprising that this version has been released when it clearly contains so many errors.” Peter

“I am also frustrated with version 6, and like Zach, I’ve been a user since the MacSpeech iListen days.” Stephen

“Now instead of just  messing up and quitting, the 6.0 version just stops working and gives you a spinning beach ball.”  Mary

“getting a little tiresome” adsub

“very disappointed that Nuance would put out such an unstable version.” Mark

“it is not a positive experience.” David

“Getting Dragon version 6 for the Macintosh to work for me was a huge pain.” Fletch

“What good is improved UI when the guts don’t work.” Andrew

“Big promises for Dragon 6, but a complete failure on delivery. Don’t buy it!”  Tersh

“It has crashed more than 10 times in 6 days in the course of doing very ordinary dictation tasks.” Steve

“by far the worst release I’ve seen as far as bugs and erratic behavior in a program version that’s virtually useless” Mark

“I feel like Charlie Brown, each time they come out with a new version I think that it will be different but then they pull the football away.”

And my favourite:

“The only “Deep Learning” taking place here is that I must not allow myself to be ripped off yet again!” Arnold

We know we are desperate if people are suggesting solutions like this:

“why don’t you try Dragon for Windows (using a Windows bootcamp partition or a virtual machine)?” Marius


I am very disappointed because previously this was one of my favourite pieces of software.

You can read more on the Nuance customer forums here.

A final note, be wary of reviews like this one that are overly positive – they are selling the software!



14 responses to “Dragon for Mac version 6 Review”

  1. Kevin

    Thanks for the heads up, though it is no less than I was expecting. At least you can get a 30-day refund if they do not manage to fix the problems.
    As a side issue, I have been experimenting with open office, Neo office, and Libre office as alternatives to Word and Pages.
    Personally, I had a pleasant surprise; Libre office is a delight to use, and while there ARE problems with Dragon, dictation does at least mean saving time again, instead of spending entire sessions problem-solving and cussing.

  2. Kevin

    @ Wayne With you 100% on the upgrade/update issue. I bought 5 1 month ago and have been beset with problems. Now instead of receiving updates to fix the issues, I am receiving regular mailings asking for more money to upgrade my dodgy software for more dodgy software.

  3. It seems to be worse in the applications that it claims to integrate with, e.g. Pages, Word. It kind of works okay if I am dictating into an application that it does not recognise, like Mail, or Safari, or text edit, so maybe that’s why Libre Office works.

    1. Kevin

      I think that Nuance are having real problems and maybe are actually incapable of fixing this.

      In another post, I described how Dragon 5 crashes when I try to transfer text from the Dragon Pad, their own app!!
      I reported the fault and requested assistance three days ago. So far no reply apart from the automated response (you know, the one that says I may be charged for assistance)

      1. Kevin

        OK, they replied after 5 days. First attempt was to delete the Dragon plist file, but it made no difference, crashes continued at a continuous pace.
        Then they asked me to completely remove D5 and then reinstall.
        They also provided a download link to version 5.02
        Reinstalling may be an issue if you did not purchase the digital download service, though you can still buy it for about 7 dollars (I am in Thailand, so am a little hazy on US currency.)
        The complete removal instructions are:

        A. Completely removing the installation files of the software.

        1. Click Finder.
        2. Click Go from the menu bar at the top of the computer screen.
        3. Press and hold the “Option” key of the keyboard.
        4. Select Library and release the “Option” key.

        Go the exact locations below and delete the file or move it to the trash.

        a. /Library/Application Support/Dragon folder
        b. /Library/Preferences/com.dragon.dictate.plist
        c. /Library/Preferences/com.dragon.dictate.plist.lockfile
        d. /Library/Caches/com.dragon.dictate folder or Dragon folder
        e. /Library/Save Application State/com.dragon.dictate or Dragon folder

        5. On the left side of the window, select Applications and delete the Dragon Dictate.app

        B. Running a Repair Disk Permission.

        1. Click the magnifying glass icon on the upper right of your screen
        2. Search for “Disk utility” without the quotations.
        3. On a new window that will show up, you will see the available HD of the computer. Highlight the one with the name “Macintosh HD”
        4. After highlighting it, at the top of it click the icon that says “First Aid” > Select Run and follow all onscreen prompts.
        5. Empty the trash
        6. Reboot your computer
        7. Reinstall Dragon Dictate 5

  4. Mike Zlotnik

    I wish I had read this before I bought it. I had veresion 5 which version 6 ate. It is great for a minute or so and then it crashes or types garbage. Vocabulary editor does not work! Terrible stuff produced by incompetent fraudsters.

  5. John S. Birch

    I’ve been a Nuance user for years, way back to version 2 or 3 of Dragon Naturally Speaking, and can’t begin to tell you what a bitter disappointment I’ve found Dragon-for-Mac v6.

    I’m 85 and have Alzheimer’s disease, and had high hopes that this product would make my life as a writer easier when I first saw your promotional material.

    This application crashes constantly and you’ve clearly released it long before it was ready. I feel utterly cheated, and swindled out of the 100-odd $$$s “special offer” that I could ill afford.


    John s. Birch, New York City.

  6. Mark

    I’m disappointed in Dragon 6, it’s not much better than 5 on the Mac. Not only is it expensive, but you can’t use it at all without doing the training. I purchased a specific headphone to use with Dragon and it’s no better than the built-in microphone for recognition. To add insult to injury, my company updated my laptop, and now Nuance wants me to either buy it all over again (no!) or pay them an extra premium (no!). I’ve made digital purchases on the internet for years and I’ve never been treated like this.

  7. Nancy

    I upgraded Dragon for Mac and I cannot believe how buggy it is! It’s amazing that anyone would try to sell such a problematic product. One reviewer said it is so buggy it should come with it’s own exterminator. The cursor jumps to random paragraphs and erases word, sentences, paragraphs. It puts random letters throughout my document. The spelling is atrocious. I spend so much time editing for these crazy problems, Dragon is no longer the useful tool it once was.

  8. Andrew

    I have been persisting with Dragon 6 for Mac for the last 4 months, hoping an update would fix most of the terrible issues described above. My experience to date is that Dragon 6 is by far the worst version ever. My latest version was 6.0.5. I tried downgrading to Word 2011, thinking Word 2016 (Office 365) could be the problem. It wasn’t! I finally pulled the plug and requested a refund. I am now back to using Dragon 5.0 Mac with Word 2011 and my productivity is reasonable again. I won’t be in such a hurry to upgrade in the future! There is no point in adding new sales features, when basic functionality gets lost in the process.

  9. Glen Fisher

    Dragon 6 worked fine with Word on my Mac – up until now. Now I get garbage everywhere – split words, the cursor popping up in strange places, garbled sentences. Have tried closing and reloading Dragon, closing and reloading Word, rebooting my computer – nothing works. Might as well throw the programme in the garbage, like the garbage it is generating.

    Oh, and this is a bloody expensive programme! especially when it doesn’t work reliably.

  10. Don Johnson

    I decided to try Dragon v6 (6.0.8) because I wanted to upgrade to OS X 10.11.6 Reading the mixed reviews I read a well written one on Amazon that helped me make the jump – So glad I did. The training period is much shorter than my version 4. It is accurate, faster and the cursor does not jump around as in prior versions. After 2 weeks the program is stable (no crashes) and a pleasure to use. I use an old Nuance USB headset with a 2014 Macbook Pro 2.8Ghz. i7 The program works really well with Scrivener, Word for Mac 2011 and of course TextEdit. I am a librarian and have put it though the paces dictating difficult text and it is so close to 100% accuracy.
    Big Kudos to Nuance for finally getting it right.

  11. Maria

    I bought this product back in April and it has never worked properly and over the last two months it has been impossible to use. It now crashes every time I say “wake up”. I cannot even get started. I have had some technical support from a company call Hands Free Computing. They have been trying hard to help, but it is a faulty product. The most outrageous thing is that Nuance doesn’t solve the problem and apparently there is no way I can get a refund. They are completely unnaccountable. This is a extraordinary that they get away with it. I wasted my money and now they have announced that they are discontinuing Dragon for Mac leaving everyone in the lurch. They say they will give 3 months technical support but the product has not worked and it is not likely to work.

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