We recently told you about the rumor that Apple won’t unveil iOS 5 until later this fall. Apple announced the details about this year’s WWDC event, and multiple sources are claiming that we won’t see any hardware announcements from Apple this summer.
On the iOS 5 front, rumors suggest that Apple will be heavily integrating voice commands into the next major iteration of iOS. The focus looks to be on voice search, considering Apple bought a little voice search company called Siri one year ago…
Every since Apple bought Siri Assistant (a popular voice search app in the App Store), we’ve all been waiting to see if Apple will implement similar voice search technology into iOS. Android devices have had voice-to-text and integrated voice search through Google for quite some time.
In light of recent developments, the industry has reason to believe that Apple will integrate extensive voice recognition abilities into iOS 5. According to TechCrunch, we should see these features demoed at WWDC in June,
“The use of Siri’s artificial intelligence and assistance technology is said to be deeply integrated into the OS for all the different services offered. And the team is now putting the finishing touches on the elements that will be demoed at WWDC, we hear. This tech may also be opened to developers for use in third-party apps — though that information isn’t quite as concrete.”
Electronista affirms this claim with the fact that Apple has been hiring talent related to voice technology,
“The move supports recent Apple hiring plans late last year that focused heavily on voice command support. Siri’s technology was based around performing relatively complex actions, such as booking tickets for a movie or setting a calendar appointment, by describing it in plain language.”
Siri is an interesting product because it’s made to recognize everyday speech. If you haven’t given Siri Assistant a try on the iPhone, the app is available for free on the App Store.
Instead of robot commands or queries, Siri works best when you treat it like your own personal assistant. For instance, try saying something like, “I’d like to see an action movie at 8 o’clock tonight,” and Siri will find movie listings for the closest theatre in the action genre at 8 P.M. Pretty cool, huh?
Apple already has Voice Control on the iPhone, but the options are limited and there is no search functionality. Google’s Android has clearly overtaken iOS in voice technology with the variety and complexity of voice commands available on most Android devices. Android can read text messages aloud, dictate e-mails, translate languages, and navigate maps.
An artificial intelligence/assistance technology like Siri would be the perfect thing to set iOS 5 apart. Sources like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times also suspect that Apple will introduce a Siri-like voice search this year.
I’ve been using Siri Assistant on my iPhone for over a year now, and it’s one of my all-time favorite apps. I’m all for Apple implementing Siri’s technology into iOS 5.
What about you? Do you think we’ll see this type of voice search in iOS 5?