We know that there will be a new iPhone released next month. We know that Apple will probably hold its next announcement on October 4th, followed by availability the following week.

But what do we really know about the upcoming iPhone? 9to5Mac has published everything it has learned about the iPhone 5, including the one feature that will make you want to buy it…

In an extensive post about “the new iPhone,” Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has answered many questions about why consumers will want to upgrade to Apple’s next smartphone.

Specs

According to 9to5Mac’s sources, the next iPhone will feature several “significant upgrades” from the iPhone 4. If you open up Apple’s fifth generation iPhone, you will find a dual-core A5 processor — the same chip that powers the iPad 2 for enhanced gaming and web browsing.

The next iPhone will set itself apart with a whopping 1GB of RAM (That’s twice the memory of the iPad 2.) This incredible boost in memory will be used to help power the next gen iPhone’s main feature. We’ll get to that in a second.

Like the assumed processor bump to the A5, the next iPhone will also feature a 8 megapixel camera that will allow users to take “incredible” pictures in low-light situations, thanks to the iPhone’s backlit sensor. The ability to take panoramic pictures has also been found in the iOS 5 SDK. iOS 5 includes multiple software enhancements to the iPhone’s camera, including shortcuts for taking quick pictures from the iPhone’s volume buttons.

According to 9to5Mac, the next gen iPhone will also feature Qualcomm Gobi Baseband chips that allow the user to switch between both GSM and CDMA networks. It’s been a longstanding rumor that the next iPhone will be a “world phone” capable of running on all carriers.

While all of these spec upgrades are certainly welcomed, we’ve heard most of these rumors before. What will set the next iPhone apart from its predecessors? What will be that one feature that makes the average customer say, “I have got to buy this thing!”

The next iPhone’s A5 processor and upgraded RAM will power a feature in iOS 5 that the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 won’t be able to use. The one feature that will set the next iPhone apart is called Assistant.

Assistant

9to5Mac uncovered the hidden feature in iOS 5 called “Assistant” months ago, and this time Gurman is back with more info about how the revolutionary feature will work. Assistant is based on voice recognition apps like Siri (a company that Apple bought awhile back), and is the evolution of the iOS Voice Control function that was introduced with the iPhone 3GS in 2009.

Apple has been working with Nuance to create “the biggest game changer” for this year’s iPhone. Be prepared to start talking to your iPhone 5 this Fall.. a lot.

With the next iPhone on iOS 5, you’ll be able to hold the home button for a couple of seconds to initiate Assistant. Due to the iPhone 5’s upgraded specs, the function will perform much quicker than Voice Control does currently.

Assistant will pop up — much like the app switcher — at the bottom of your screen with a microphone icon ready to hear your voice. The feature will allegedly work on the lock screen as well.

You will have access to some of the most used Assistant commands for quick reference, and 9to5Mac describes the design as a “glowing purple flare” that will light up around the microphone icon during processing. Assistant will apparently open up “endless possibilities” with voice commands that make our lives easier.

Gurman explains Assistant in more detail:

“Assistant taps into many aspects of the iPhone, according to people familiar with the feature and SDK findings. For example, one can say make appointment with Mark Gurman for 7:30 PM and Assistant will create the appointment in the user’s calendar. On noting events, Assistant also allows users to set reminders for the iOS 5 Reminders application. For example, a user could say “remind me to buy milk when I arrive at the market.” Another example would be integration with the iOS Maps application. A user could ask: “how do I get to Staples Center?” and Assistant will use the user’s current location via GPS and provide directions.

Another interesting Assistant feature is the ability to create and send an SMS or iMessage with just your voice. For example, you can say “send a text to Mark saying I’ll be running late to lunch!” – and it will send. This is a super compelling feature for people who cannot physically or safely take the time to type out a text message. Users can also choose to have Assistant read back unsent text messages to ensure the system interpreted the speech correctly. If the text is written correctly, the user simply says “yes;” if not the user says “no” and Assistant will ask the user to speak again. Apple is also working to allow users to ask for a specific song to be played. Voice Control only allows albums, artists, and playlists to be chosen with your voice.”

One of Assistant’s most compelling functions will be conversation view. You will essentially hold a conversation with Assistant until it determines what specific task you need to complete. Think of Assistant as your own personal.. well, assistant.

Imagine sending an email by speaking it to your iPhone. You will create the email by tapping the home button and saying, “Email Alex about coffee next Thursday.” Assistant would fill your email details by asking you questions like, “Which address for Alex would you like to use? Home, office, or work?” What Assistant says to you will also be displayed in a text bubble on your iPhone’s screen. If you’re creating a new text message with Assistant, your dialogue with Assistant will be recored in conversation view on your screen as well. The same goes for any task you decide to perform.

9to5Mac also noted that Assistant will work with Apple’s new “Find My Friends” network to locate your friends around you. Assistant will also integrate with Wolfram Alpha to help you answer math questions or other knowledge queries. If you need to calculate a tip at a restaurant, just ask your iPhone. Brilliant.

Not to be left out, Nuance speech-to-text functionality will also be present in the next iPhone. This feature will most likely be limited to the iPhone 5 with Assistant, as Nuance’s voice queries require more intensive processor involvement.

Assistant is the evolution of the digital experience. You don’t have to speak like a robot for it to understand you, and the feature will undoubtedly just work. We’ve all been wondering how Apple will leapfrog the competition again this year, and Assistant looks like it will be the “x” factor that the competition can’t touch.

9to5Mac’s report did not address other iPhone rumors, like NFC and the allusive iPhone 4S. What we can know is that a new iPhone is coming with Assistant next week, and we can’t wait for that.

  • cgraham

    16GB of RAM? I think you may have misread that.

  • 16GB of ram *cough* bullcrap

  • Lee

    He must have hit a key wrong. The 9 to 5 Mac article states 1 GB of ram, which is still huge. That’s double the iPad 2!

  • Lol 16GB of ram

  • The 16GB of RAM was a typo. It’s been fixed.

    • 16,000,000GB of ram. Mwahahahahaha 😉

      • kadz

        holy crap !!

      • techno709

        ahahaha

      • Brad I.

        16GB RAM- your iPhone is a server! 🙂

  • Daniel

    “The next iPhone will set itself apart with a whopping 16GB of RAM.”

    You might want to double check that. There is no way that could be correct.

  • MALdito

    Thats a funny-ass typo, lmao!

  • Coach

    Can’t wait!!

  • Josh

    Erasing my realistic comments? Classy, iDB.

    • Negative comments are getting old. We don’t mind criticism, but not when it doesn’t make much sense, or when haters like you try to tell us how we should do our job.

      I’m sorry you’re not happy with our work at iDB, and I understand you have multiple options when it comes to iOS news. Maybe we’re just not right for you. A quick Google search and I’m sure you’ll find another blog where you can try to go dictate your views of what they should do. Good luck.

      Sebastien

      • Ben

        LMFAO

  • Micke

    This sounds great… too bad that I live in a non-english speaking country. Sweden sucks…

    • No dude, Sweden is awesome! Well, except it’s cold there. A lot 😉

      • Alex

        It’s not that cold in Sweden. It depends where you live. It can get quite hot in the summers… yet still quite cold in the winter.

  • Soto

    iDB rocks, love this blog site better then my other ones.

    • Thanks, my friend. Positive feedback is always welcome. Keep it coming 🙂

  • Massie

    If this is the “game-changer” for iPhone 5, I’ll probably skip a generation. With even the best-built voice recognition services, I’ve always preferred to write things out myself–and I suspect a lot of people will still do that, whether out of habit or because speech-to-text will inevitably be less accurate. I’d certainly use it once in a while (to send an SMS while driving) but to make it the selling point of the iP5 seems like a stretch.

    • I kind of agree with you, but mostly because I have never seen an accurate and effective speech to text solution. But maybe this is a game changer! I’m growing impatient to see was Apple is cooking for us. This might just be a game changer. I guess we’ll only find out when we can actually try it.

  • n00b

    Funny, all the features mentioned in this article are present on the Samsung Galaxy S II. I still prefer iOS to Android, but Apple doesn’t seem to come up with many original ideas these days.

    • bob

      they dont have to cause they are the leader…

    • RF9

      And the galaxy s II was released when?

      • May 18 2011, here in the Netherlands.

      • Goofygreek

        Over a week ago on sprint. And I think last Friday for AT&T.

  • bob

    but umm whats the point in all that power if teh screen is still so damn small… ???? your thumbs take up 30% of the screen when you are playing games and that sucks..

  • Twllms

    I love this site— my daily read at least 3 to 4 times a day. Ok I’m addictive, an awesome addiction!

    • It’s a good addiction though 🙂

  • Kelvin

    So does that mean Assistant will not work AT ALL with 4th Gen devices? 🙁

  • Brett

    I used to love this blog untill it got spammed by ios 5 rumors!

    • Brett,

      I understand your frustration over the amount of iPhone 5 rumors we’ve been posting. Believe me, it kinda gets on my nerves too. But the fact is we are an Apple-related site. If we didn’t post those news, we’d be failing at your job of informing people about what’s going on in the iOS world.

      This being said, we’re aware that some of these rumors are just more silly than others. We have decided that we will not post rumors that sound silly anymore. That means no more screenshots from some leaked case in China, unless we’re pretty confident it’s the real deal.

      Sometimes too much information kills information. We don’t want to get to that point.

      s

      • These are real great news! Greetings from Germany, keep upnyour work!

      • Josh

        That’s ALL I wanted to hear. I just wanted to see that you folks at iDB realized the amount and the kind of news you’ve been providing us. I’m deeply sorry for all the ranting and all the “troubles” caused. I hope you see my comments as suggestions or feedback, and not offenses. I do realize we can’t always have things the way we want to, but we can do our best. Good luck with the blog. Meanwhile, let’s just wait for the final release of the best iOS update in history 😀

  • Lee

    Honestly, if it has the specs mentioned, it will be a player. My guess is that they’ll actually use the A6 processor and therefore distance themselves from Samsung. Now, that’s a really speculative on my part, though.

  • Excited for this feature! I do believe this is the game changer that people who need an iPhone will pay for to have! I cannot wait to see how well it works. Voice control was as much of a fail as Apple’s ping. So here we go…This really could be something that would change peoples mind! Great article!

  • Jason

    excited about the specs of the next iPhone- a definite purchase.. don’t care too much for assistant tho.

  • So, basically they implemented the Siri tech they acquired long ago.

    Get Siri. It’s in the App Store and it does most of this already.

  • mega

    nuance was implemented on the sammy fascinate…not that I’m an android fan anymore but the voice thing seems like a weak selling point. Like the specs though..keep up the good work IDB

  • Andres

    Sooo…why wouldn’t this work with my iPhone 4? This appears to be a software related entity.

    • It isn’t dual-core; while a single-core processor might be able to do this, a dual-core one would be able to decipher your voice into commands while doing what you’re telling it to do, simultaneously, with both tasks running at their full-potential. With a single-core processor it has to go through one at a time, which makes the process more than twice as slow and it might stutter/lag.

      But if you can get past that it’ll probably still work.

  • RF9

    I have the iPhone 4. Had it for over a year now. Nothing about this iPhone 5 blows my skirt up. Maybe if there were NFC, LTE, or more storage than a paltry 32GB. Voice contol and a better camera? I can certainly live without those and the iPhone 4 processor is plenty fast enough. Not worth a whole new phone and contract. So I’ll wait and see what’s actually announced.

  • Aciel78

    Thnx for the awesome post! This blog rocks! Gives me more confidence that I skipped the 4 and am patiently awaiting the arrival of the i5. I’m happy with my JB 3GS. 1st iPhone and loving it. Keep the awesome posts coming 🙂

  • Brian

    Anyone hear of the vllingo android app? It has many of these features, plus an in car mode that reads incoming texts and email and allows you to reply w/o touching your phone. Includes navigation requests. I think there are subtle differences. Assistant has the ability to make several reservations, i.e. book a table at restaurants order event tickets, etc. However that featur feature came from the developers of the Sirius app…purchased (now monopolized) by Apple hardly not an earth shattering update to cause someone to upgrade to iPhone 5, the processor update is cool but since the 3GS it seems the battery depletes more and more with each new upgrade. My DROID X outlasts my iPhone about 35% with fairly heavy use and I can always install my backup battery.

  • Hey sebastien do u think well be able to switch our iPhone 4’s for iPhone 5’s?

    • Ben

      If you “pay out” the remainder of your contract, sure.

      • Oh well Ive still got two yrs in my contract so I’ll have to wait lol

    • no

  • mr64

    Bet it won’t look a bit different, except a colored, plastic case. Yawn!!!!!!!!!