iOS 5 Voice Control Is Still Coming, But Might Only Work With First-Party Apps

iOS 5 Voice Control Is Still Coming, But Might Only Work With First-Party Apps

Amongst other rumors about iOS 5 that somehow just disappeared into the ether come yesterday’s WWDC 2011 keynote was the advanced Nuance-powered voice control features that has been reported extensively over the past few months. The only mention of voice recognition was a throwaway line on a slide: “Option to speak text selection.”

Is that it? What happened to the voice control that we were all promised? Don’t worry just yet: according to a couple of prominent sources, Nuance-powered voice control is still coming to iOS 5.

Techcrunch is reporting that Apple still plans on incorporating Nuance tech within ioS 5 before the software is released in September. It’s already in Lion, and it’s already up and running in Apple’s North Carolina data super center. Heck, Nuance’s Chief Mobile Technology Architect was actually in the WWDC keynote audience yesterday. Everything’s in place for Nuance integration… except the finalized deal.

Robert Scoble agrees: he says his source says that Siri integration is coming, but just wasn’t ready in time for the WWDC 2011 keynote. It’ll instead debut in fall, as the cool new feature Apple shows off before pushing iOS 5 to the masses.

If voice recognition does come to iOS 5 come September, though, don’t expect it in every app: since Apple did not debut voice recognition at WWDC, that may mean that when they do debut their advanced voice recognition tech, which allows you to dictate your input for any text field, it may only work in iOS’s native apps, and not be available as a dev API… at least at first.

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  • dagamer34

    Voice recognition wouldn’t require an API if it were just for text input. Now if it were for other features, that might require an API, but Apple does SDK updates throughout the year.

    Plus, I have a feeling that they’d want to save a few features to demo on a hypothetical iPhone 5 and this would be a great one. I also think it would require an A5 chip to work. As of now, there aren’t that many truly compelling reasons to own an iPad 2 which everyone would use every day.

    Just imagine saying “navigate to nytimes.com” instead of having to type it out. Mind boggling.

  • habsfan324

    Sounds like it’s coming to iOS 5… but it will be exclusive to the iPhone 4S ( or iPhone 5) launched in September.

  • Crossphire Dev

    ‘The only mention of voice recognition was a throwaway line on a slide: “Option to speak text selection.”’
    That isn’t voice recognition, it is text-to-speech and they are two entirely different animals.  Frankly TTS is not much of a feature considering iOS can already speak your contacts, bands, etc and I would have expected much more.  However there is plenty of time for them to integrate updated voice recognition before the final release and it wouldn’t be the first time they snuck in features that weren’t expected.

  • Swwiley

    you cant have speech and voice recognition without applescript, the two go together like pb&j 

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed though…

  • Matt

    “Just imagine saying “navigate to nytimes.com” instead of having to type it out. Mind boggling.”

    Like using the VLingo app, or using an Android handset?

    Much better, in fact, is the ability to dictate emails, texts, and tweets. Press microphone icon, dictate the message, and send.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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