Since the iPhone 3GS, voice support has been included in iOS but gained new features slowly. With iOS 5, Apple is looking to totally revamp voice support.
New Voice Recognition Features
A report from 9to5Mac shows that the final build of iOS will likely include new speech functionality in the form of an App called “Assistant”:
“Coupled with Nuance speech-to-text, Apple appears to be planning to take the fruit of their Siri purchase and fully integrate it into this fall’s release of iOS 5. Because these new features have yet to appear in iOS 5 on the iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS, Apple might be saving these new features as an iPhone 5 exclusive. This would be akin to Apple’s decision to make Voice Control and video recording exclusive features to the iPhone 3GS, even though they could technically function on earlier models of the iPhone.”
Additional functionality of Assistant would include compiling results based off location and metadata to better understand a user request. This would make Assistant smarter in understand what command you want to execute or cut down on time sifting through irrelevant results.
Putting data in to a context will also cut down on the Software straining to understand what a user is saying. If the App receives an input of “Change song” while iTunes is playing an album, it would most likely ask the user which song or immediately skip to the next one.
Buyout Of Siri
Rumors started flying about new voice controls in iOS when Apple bought the makers voice recognition App Siri in early 2010.
The purchase left many wondering what would happen to the App and how Apple would integrate it in to iOS. Functionality between Siri and iOS hasn’t been mentioned but Apple could use voice recognition as an additional level of navigation and control in iOS 5.