Remember that Nuance speech-to-text feature that everyone’s been so excited about ? A new photo sent to 9t05Mac by a claimed Apple employee appears to confirm its existence, and more importantly, that it’s being tested right now as part of iOS 5.

While not yet active in the betas of iOS 5 that developers are getting to test in the wild right now, it is becoming clear that those inside Apple, and possibly those close to the company, have already been testing the feature for a while…

As the image above shows, iOS will gain Android-like voice input via a button on the on-screen keyboard. Once tapped, whatever is spoken into the phone’s microphone will be converted to text and entered into the selected field, using Nuance’s voice recognition technology. This means we’ll be able to dictate emails, SMS messages and more, a real plus for many and a boon for people who rely on hands-free kits while driving.

We don’t expect the dictation feature to find its way into any of the public betas of iOS, but rather for Apple to just add it to the final release when it is made available to the public. Apple has a track record of pushing features into final builds that were not present in betas, and this appears to be taking the same route.

Apple has already said that iOS 5 will be made available in September, which means, in theory at least, that we should be speaking into our iPhones and iPads as soon as the next few weeks.

Of course, Apple has been known to delay things before, hasn’t it?

  • Does anyone know if iOS 5 speech-to-text will support other languages besides english?! Like portuguese for example?

    • Yboy403

      It would make sense to have other languages available, and Portuguese is a fairly common one.
      Although these are all rumours and guesses, I feel safe guessing that Portuguese will be supported at some point in time.
      Tip: check if Dragon Naturally Speaking or Dragon Dictation support Portuguese. That should tell you if the technology exists already.

  • Greg

    When did Apple say “September?” I remember hearing Fall…

    • Rui

      yeah! Did apple ever said september? That’s good news!

    • Michael

      Fall starts on September 23rd.

      • Djttothee

        How do you know?