Apple has been rumoured to be working on system-level voice controls and many hoped that the introduction of iOS 5 during WWDC would unveil the new functionality. Apple’s purchase of Siri and reports about a deal with Nuance is believed to pave the way for voice commands coupled with Siri’s AI technology on iOS devices.
According to 9to5 Mac’s sources Apple has been developing a new feature called “Assistant”. It will reportedly allow users to give voice commands and “Assistant” will be able to look up information stored on the device to take appropriate action. Siri Assistant for iPhone does exactly that but, Apple would certainly be looking at integrating the technology deeply.
Mac OS X Lion includes voices licensed from Nuance and it’s possible that Apple uses the same voices to have “Assistant” speak back to the user. Android devices have been hugely praised for system-level voice recognition however, if the latest rumors turn out to be true then iOS devices could do much more than just following user commands.
The fact that iOS 5 beta code has references to Nuance dictation and “Assistant” leads to conclusive proof that Apple is indeed working on these features. It’s unclear if Apple will add these features in the final version of iOS 5 or will reserve these features exclusively for iPhone 5.
Apple is expected to unveil the next generation iPhone during September event and the launch of iOS 5 could coincide with hardware announcement.