February 10, 2015 Last Updated 8:06 am

Philips Dictation recorder app updated, new UI, free trial offer

Tools of the trade: Dictation app system falls apart when user is presented with a support website that is not optimized for mobile users

The search for a good transcription service, one that is both accurate and affordable (free would be nice) continues. Apple’s dictation, for many journalists, is the default service. It is free – once you buy an iPhone, that is – and improving. But hardly perfect.

Philips-iPhone5-W-lgPhilips has had an iOS dictation app since 2011, though few talk about it. The reason is that it works with other services. limiting its usefulness to companies that have using these services for years.

Today the app, Philips Dictation recorder, has been updated but the whole system remains terrible antiquated.

The problem is not the app, it is the support for the app.

Users introduced to the app for the first time, following this update, will be met with a nice explanation of the system. Then, the new user is met with a dialogue box that offers them a free trial and taken to a website that is not not optimized for mobile users. It is at this point that most app downloaders will likely give up.

But if they persist, they will find out that there are two options: a small business package that costs $9.99 per user per month that gives the account up to 10 users, 5GB of storage and the ability to use the service via desktop or smartphone. The advance business package is only a bit more costly, $12.99 per user per month, and gives you more users and storage.

The price is not outrageous, and may be perfect for some publishers with multiple magazine titles or a newsroom at a daily newspaper. But will they bother to work their way through the system to try it out?

The obvious reason the system works this way is to avoid Apple’s commission system which will take out 30 percent of the price of the service. But an in-app solution may be the only to introduce more users to the dictation service as this, antiquated way to driving sales is bound to fail.

The update brings into the app a new user interface and that 30-day free trial offer.

Here is the app description for the update:

What’s New in Version 3.6.05

  • New UserInterface
  • New Quick Start Guide
  • New barcode scanner SDK
  • Editing mode can be set as default
  • Clearer settings structure
  • Email sending can be enabled as additional sending option
  • Limit free usage to 30 days
  • Display title of recording in Philips SpeechExec title column
  • General bugfixing

Here is a demonstration video from one year ago. It claims that the user can use the app immediately after downloading, failing to mention the intermediate step of registering for the service. This has led to many of the users reviews being negative as, is commonly the case, downloaders think they will get something for nothing.

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