Any version of Dragon for Mac 5.* or 6.* currently works.
Yosemite, El Capitan, and Sierra. (Others may work fine, but haven't been verified)
When people say that Dragon on Mac is not very good, they are usually referring to its ancillary features like controlling applications and deeper system-integration. However the actual speech-to-text conversion is nearly flawless and is extremely fast, just as good as the NaturallySpeaking version for Windows.
Dragon 6 definitely has some issues that will hopefully be resolved in future Dragon updates. Fortunately, VoiceCode does not rely on any of the Dragon features that are broken in Dragon 6. Specifically, users have reported the Dragon commands window does not work, among other issues. On the positive side, we HAVE noticed actual improvement in speech recognition accuracy after upgrading to Dragon 6. Also it starts up much faster than previous Dragon versions (useful if you need to restart dragon for any reason)
Please DO NOT contact Nuance for any VoiceCode-related issues, even if you are having trouble with Dragon. We do not want them to have any negative feelings toward this project :) We are stretching voice-recognition far past its designed purpose. Chances are if something is not working there is a simple fix, just post your issue on our Slack channel.
Even though the name is *voice code*, it works for anything you need to do on a computer. There are plug-in packages for various Applications with enhanced functionality, however our primary goal is to make it a low-level product that can just do everything you would do on the keyboard or mouse. For example, it may not have a specific command in your chosen email application to "Send a Message", but if you already know the keyboard shortcut to do that, you can just trigger that with your voice, or add a custom command for it.
Theoretically any speech backend can work with VoiceCode. However, Dragon is currently the only speech backend that can handle thousands of commands and custom words and vocab while maintaining acceptable speed and accuracy. As soon as another speech recognition solution proves to be viable we will work very quickly to support it as an official integration.
VoiceCode is programming-language-agnostic. It gives you lots of low-level building blocks, with which you could program in any programming-language. The available packages cover all of the building blocks needed to build code in most languages. When you find a certain programming task that is performed frequently, and takes too many "low-level commands", that is the time to create a custom command that does multiple things from a single word or phrase, such as a single word to insert a complete for-loop, or if-else statement. Alternatively, there may already be an extra package for your programming language that implements some of these higher-level macros.
Yes! All the same formatting, editing, and selection commands that work for coding work equally well for writing regular text such as emails or documentation. Once you get fast at writing code, there is no need to relearn a different set of commands for dictating text, which is a major benefit compared to some other systems that have "Command Mode" and "Dictation Mode" as separate things with different behavior.
VoiceCode takes spoken input and performs actions. If your computer can do [ X ] then so can VoiceCode. It has an extensive API for automating computer actions, and can call out to other programs, shell scripts, or web-services if needed. See actions for details.
It varies for each user. If you are good at learning languages or memorizing things, it will come fairly naturally - each person has different techniques they like to use: flashcards, cheat sheets, etc. We don't make a guarantee on learning time, but we estimate if you spend 3 hours per day learning VoiceCode, you will be able to replace 40% of your keystrokes within the first week, and 80% within the first month of usage, while maintaining a similar level of productivity.
It typically works with any program, however Dragon has been known to crash when using certain programs such as Microsoft Word. For some programs we have special integrations that allow commands to have extra powers. To check if an application has special integrations, check out the package registry.
All the editor integrations are open-source and we gladly welcome and encourage contributions. See packages for more info.
Now that we have ported the entire codebase into a cross-platform architecture, development on the Windows version is moving from "proof of concept" to an alpha release. We have not solidified a timeframe for this yet.