Screenshot of integrated voice recognition in iOS 5

Mon, Aug 8, 2011

News, Rumors

When Scott Forstal ran through the feature list in iOS 5, there was one glaring ommission – what happened to voice recognition?

In the weeks preceding WWDC this year, a number of reports surfaced indicating that Apple was planning to integrate voice recognition into iOS 5. Not only had Apple purchased Siri, but it was also engaged in serious negotiations with Nuance to include its best-in-class speech recognition engine in iOS 5.

Alas, WWDC came and went, and despite Nuance’s CEO being in attendance, voice recognition was not one of the talking points – all the while, the iOS 5 SDK was littered with references to Nuance technology.

Some theorized that Apple and Nuance were still hammering out an agreement in the midst of WWDC while others speculated that Apple is looking to use speech recognition as a “one more thing” type of feature when it finally unveils the iPhone 5 sometime this month – we hope.

Reportedly dubbed “Assistant”, it’s believed that Apple’s voice integration might work like Nuance’s Dragon Diction app, which if true, would be particularly intriguing. Video of the app in action is below, but first, 9to5Mac obtained a photo purporting to show the iOS interface with Nuance integration.

Tapping on the microphone icon pictured above will reportedly activate the voice recognition engine, allowing a user to start speaking and have their words magically turn into text.

Another tidbit, from our source, is that the functionality is only planned for Apple’s smaller devices – iPhone and iPod touch – but iPad support could technically make its way in to iOS 5. This would be similar to Apple keeping features like Notification Center widgets and Voice Control as exclusives to the iPhone and iPod touch.



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