Voice-Controlled Virtual “Assistant” Coming to iOS

Apple Nuance

A new discovery by 9to5Mac, suggests that Apple will offer a feature-rich  voice recognition service in a future version of iOS called “Assistant”. Since the acquisition of Siri and partnership with Nuance, it has been rumored that Apple was planning to offer voice-related features in iOS. However, at WWDC 2011 Apple didn’t mention any such features during the iOS 5 demo.

Assistant in iOS

The screenshot above reveals a new feature called “Assistant” in iOS 5. “Assistant” is supposed to take voice data and user specific information to provide an amazing service to the user. The voice data is supposed to be crowd-sourced and users will have the option to securely send their data to Apple.  Currently, the feature is being developed and tested by Apple and may not be finished by the time the next-iPhone ships.

We can imagine a user asking their iPhone Assistantto setup a movie with one of their friends. The user might say setup movie with Markand based on Mark’s contact info and the user’s location data, will be able to offer tickets to a local theater and send Mark the information.

In addition to voice data being used to bring results, “Assistant” is supposed to use information such as the device’s location, contact information, and music data. Also, 9to5Mac reports that there is a mention of “Assistant” hidden in the iOS SDK.

“ASSISTANT_ENABLE_WARNING” = “Assistant uses your voice input and other information like your contact names, song names, and location to understand your requests. This data will be sent to Apple to process your request and to improve Apple products and services.”

All signs are pointing towards what Siri might have been before its acquisition. Siri’s iOS app hasn’t been removed from the App Store  and is still available for download. Rumors have suggested that Apple is working closely with Nuance to offer a similar service to iOS users.

[image credit 9to5Mac]

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Parth Dhebar

Parth Dhebar is a 18 year-old entrepreneur. He is the founder of Simple Reviews, a blog focused on reviewing iPhone and iPad applications. Parth is a recognized name in the industry, known for covering Apple news. He is an editor at Techie-Buzz covering news on Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @pdparticle.