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  5. [REVIEW] : Quadriplegic, he gives his opinion on the voice dictation of the Mac (PART ONE)

[REVIEW] : Quadriplegic, he gives his opinion on the voice dictation of the Mac (PART ONE)



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[REVIEW] : Quadriplegic, he gives his opinion on the voice dictation of the Mac (PART ONE)


For several months, theaccessibility is one of the key topics in iOS development. These functionalities make it possible to make the operating system usable by as many people as possible. Recently, Apple was even rewarded for its efforts in this area by the FCC, the American body responsible for regulating the telecommunications market and its devices.

Among the various options offered on the Mac in this area, we can mention the Voice control. This is available via the eponymous tool, accessible from the Settings, but also with dictation which is preferred to replace the keyboard in order to write text. Two systems which, for Colin Hughes, quadriplegic and former BBC, could be greatly improved in the future.

A microphone as a solution

It is indeed not uncommon to see the dictation mess up completely, add a capital letter for no reason, enter a homonym by mistake or even give the plural when it is not necessary. But for Hughes, it is not in fact inevitable. It would even be possible to make the system more efficient by using a third-party accessory.

The idea is then to connect an external microphone to the jack port of the computer, multiplying the capacities of the sensor already installed as standard in the MacBook Pro but not very effective compared to professional equipment. For the ex-producer, Apple could even design its own device of this type, with an autonomy of up to eight hours in a row. A value proposition that is reminiscent of that of AirPods

Dedicated programs also exist

It should be noted that some software developed by companies alternatives also allow you to order Apple products differently. Recently, we were able to see the TD Pilot, an iPad modified to several thousand euros which follows the movements of the eyes to do this.

Nuance, the company behind the success of the now proprietary assistant Siri, among other things, is publishing the following Dragon renowned as one of the most reliable in the field of voice control. This is particularly favored by doctors or clerks. However, it is no longer marketed for macOS recently, but older versions are fine.

No, students do not need a Mac

It took us a few weeks spent on the benches of the university or a higher school to make a sad observation. A majority of students have a Mac… So far nothing serious, but some consider this device as a necessity. In our immense kindness, we explain to you why this is not the case.

In the digital age, the good old paper/pen combo is becoming increasingly rare in lecture halls. Laptops have proven to be more efficient and versatile for years. Now it is part of the basic student package. Finally, especially a certain type of machine, namely the MacBook from Apple aka the firm that dominates the smartphone market with Samsung. This has established itself as the reliable device you need for your lessons. Whatever the use and the budget, this is the essential device, the Messiah! Let’s stop the sarcasm, let’s first try to find out if this opinion is really widespread. Launch a diatribe why not, but not against an invisible thing please.

A study of Mac use among college students

In 2019, the American firm Jamf carried out a survey of 2,244 students in five countries different about their choices in terms of computer equipment. The conclusion is interesting: 71% of respondents use or would rather use a Mac than a PC. Specifically, 40% use a Mac and 31% have a PC, but would like to switch to Apple. In addition, 43% of PC users believe a Mac provides better long-term value and that number rises to 80% for Mac users. And when we ask them the reasons for this choice, a panel of arguments comes to mind. Conversely, those who own a PC almost only put the price forward. We can of course question the representativeness of the study or assume that Jamf’s activity considerably influences its results. That said, the conclusions reflect what we hear at university or college.

What more does a Mac have?

Let’s review the arguments that we can often hear. The amphitheater neighbour, whom we are unfairly going to name Timothy, likes to recite them when asked. The Mac is a work tool guaranteeing increased productivity, an innovative device with a polished design. With it, no bulk due to its weight or thickness and no parasitic noise. In addition, it proves to be efficient and reliable for years. Its battery lasts a long time, it fits perfectly into the Apple environment and has a simple and practical operating system. On the other side, the PC is in r****d, tends to crash. Its design and build quality leave something to be desired, as does the colorimetry of its screen. In addition, it runs out in a few years, forcing its owner to go back to cash. To sum up, the Mac represents a long-term investment and the PC carries with it the ten plagues of Egypt.

PCs can be powerful, if we assure you

First of all, the “cheap” label does exist. For a price equivalent to that of a Mac, you can easily find a PC with more RAM, more storage and a higher screen definition. Take for example the XPS 13 range from Dell. Besides, while the argument of the big PC versus the thin and light Mac worked ten years ago, times have changed. Today, various manufacturers offer their ultrabooks displaying a small kilo on the scale and autonomy of 10 hours in use, advantages hitherto dominated by Apple. As for screens, the balance varies between positive and negative depending on the brand and model. Let’s give Apple the consistency of its Retina displays. Finally, believe it or not, aluminum isn’t just for Macs. The days of the big plastic block under Windows are over and many PCs no longer deserve to be categorized as unreliable. The opposition with Macs still exists, but certainly not on these aspects.

Pay so much for his courses?

If we recognize the qualities of the MacBook Air and Pro without worries, the price of the latter is a problem for us. Remember that the starting price exceeds 1100 €. With this amount, still happy that it is performing well and that it lasts over time. It is even a requirement in this case. Especially since you have to count salty supplements to have more than 256 GB of storage or 16 GB of RAM instead of 8. In the case of a student who wants to copy his course, browse the internet and use some software, is it really necessary to spend so much? Negative. Actual performance needs do not match this amount. Keeping it nice, a PC half the price performs these tasks without a problem. So, why consider as a necessity the fact of spending more than 1000€ in a machine that we will not fully make profitable by its use? For some who cannot do without Photoshop or any other greedy application, this is completely justified, but for the rest?