Nuance’s Speech-to-Text Functionality Currently Being Tested in iOS 5

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?