Is this what Apple’s Assistant interface looks like?

Mon, Oct 3, 2011

News, Rumors

The focus of Apple’s upcoming media event will not solely be relegated to hardware. Rather, it’s been rumored that the main attraction of Tuesday’s “Let’s talk iPhone” event will be the introduction of voice recognition functionality in iOS 5.

Voice recognition in iOS 5 will be an next-gen iPhone exclusive, so if you want to take advantage of Apple’s new feature you’ll have to to fork over some money and upgrade. The feature, which Apple has dubbed Assistant, will be all-encompassing and will enable a wide variety of uses.

For example, users will be able to dictate text messages, search queries, and even set up appointments via commands such as “Schedule a 12:30 PM appointment with David” or activate geo-centric reminders such as “Remind me to buy milk when I’m by a grocery store.” It’s worth noting that Assistant will be powered by Nuance’s dragon speech recognition engine, universally considered to be the best its class.

Apple’s Assistant feature is reportedly built on the technology Apple acquired when it purchased a company called Siri back in April of 2010. As we described at the time, Siri was behind a popular personal assistant app that let users speak complex commands. For example, a user might say, “Tell my wife I’ll be 20 minutes late.” Upon processing the command, Siri would search a user’s address book and other programs and find the person designated as “wife” and subsequently convert said message into text and send it via SMS.

Now, with Apple’s iPhone event just one day away, MacRumors recently put together an artist’s rendition of what the Assistant interface will probably look like based on sources familiar with the feature.

After a long press on the home button, the screen fades and slides up, just like with the multitasking interface. Revealed is a silver icon with an animated orbiting purple flare which indicates a ready state. From what we’ve been told, this image is a close representation of the actual Assistant interface.

What’s more, MacRumors commissioned Jan-MIchael Cart to put together a video depicting what the Assistant feature might look like in use.

Not too shabby, though keep in mind this video was put together on short notice and may not include all of the stylings and attention to detail that will appear in the final version.

While we won’t know all the ins and outs of Assistant until this coming Tuesday, presumably when Scott Forstall takes the stage, this following overview of Siri’s personal assistant app might provide some clues as to what we can expect in the latest iteration of Apple’s iOS.



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