Apple in Talks with Nuance to Upgrade Voice Control in iOS 5?

It’s no secret that iOS is lacking some serious voice command options. Hopefully, Apple is looking at giving the pathetic Voice Control feature a serious overhaul in iOS 5. At least give iPhone users voice to text to compete with our Android counterparts.

We reported on an interesting job listing back in early March that suggested Apple had heard our cries for a revamped Voice Control system. Today we’ve got more fuel to add to the fire, as the word on the street is Apple is in talks with Nuance Communications…

TechCrunch is reporting that they’ve heard from multiple sources that Apple is negotiating a deal with the software company that is behind the popular Dragon voice recognition applications.

Apple has been negotiating a deal with Nuance in recent months, we’ve heard from multiple sources. What does that mean? Well, it could mean an acquisition, but that is looking fairly unlikely at this point, we hear. More likely, it means a partnership that will be vital to both companies and could shape the future of iOS.

According to the blog’s sources, anything from a licensing deal to a full blown acquisition is in the realm of possibility. The latter is tagged as unlikely, since Nuance is currently valued at a cool $6 billion dollars. Either way, TechCrunch seems to believe that Nuance’s voice recognition technology will be deeply integrated in the next major iOS update.

You may recall that Apple purchased Siri last year. Apparently the popular voice search software uses Nuance technology for its voice recognition service. So to assume that we’ll see Siri features show up in iOS 5 means we’d almost have to see Nuance by default.

Any kind of partnership bodes well for both parties. Ever since Nuance co-founder Mike Cohen joined Google’s voice-recognition team, both Apple and Nuance have been suffering the consequences. Apple’s current Voice Control feature pails in comparison to Android’s robust recognition system, and Nuance certainly isn’t profiting from Google’s success.

With WWDC closing in, expect to see a ramp up in speculation regarding iOS 5. Here’s to hoping that iPhone users finally get some decent voice recognition software in the highly anticipated iOS update.

Do you think we’ll see new Voice Control features in iOS 5?