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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's will have an extensive voice recognition service in a future version of iOS called 'Assistant', according to a report on 9to5Mac.

It has been rumored that Apple was planning to include voice-related features from its acquisition of personal assistant company Siri, and a partnership with speech-to-text specialists Nuance. Apple, however, didn't mention any such features when it first demonstrated iOS 5 at WWDC in June.

This new "Assistant" feature in iOS 5 is claimed to take voice input along with other user-specific information, such as location and contacts, to provide a powerful service to the user:
We can imagine a user asking their iPhone "Assistant" to setup a movie with one of their friends. The user might say "setup movie with Mark" and 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.
9to5Mac notes that development of the feature is ongoing and may not be finished in-time for iOS 5, but did find mention of 'Assistant' in buried 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."
The feature sounds just like what Siri had been working on prior to its acquisition. Their iOS app Siri Assistant remains available on the App Store for download. Siri focused on a concept called "Virtual Personal Assistants" (VPAs) that would accomplish tasks for the user.
Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) represent the next generation interaction paradigm for the Internet. In today's paradigm, we follow links on search results. With a VPA, we interact by having a conversation. We tell the assistant what we want to do, and it applies multiple services and information sources to help accomplish our task. Like a real assistant, a VPA is personal; it uses information about an individual's preferences and interaction history to help solve specific tasks, and it gets better with experience.
Siri's implementation used Nuance's voice recognition engine to translate spoken requests to text which would then be processed. Apple has been rumored to be working closely with Nuance to provide the same transcription service to iOS users.

Article Link: Apple's Voice-Powered Virtual "Assistant" Coming to iOS
 
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skier777

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2010
322
3
Oops, two separate efforts that apple is merging.

I have used numerous versions of dragon and found them all unreliable and difficult to train. If this is anything like that, id rather text mark and see if he wants to go and can grab some tickets.
 

Apple...

macrumors 68020
May 6, 2010
2,148
0
The United States
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Interesting. Another goodie in time for iOS 5 I hope. :D
 

guitargoddsjm

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2008
391
0
MA
This better be fully baked in time for the iOS 5 release. Android is way ahead when it comes to voice commands.
 

Reach9

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2010
2,417
224
In America
I really hope this gets finished by the time iPhone 5 is released, i think releasing iPhone 5, iOS 5 (along with Assistant) and iCloud simultaneously will be huge.
 

Mak47

macrumors 6502a
Mar 27, 2011
751
32
Harrisburg, PA
If you haven't yet, try out the Siri app on the iPhone. It's rather limited in what it can actually do for you, but I assume that's because development stopped once the company was bought out.

The key to the whole thing is how the voice recognition actually works. Admittedly, it isn't perfect, but for the most part you can talk to it in plain english. There's no need to train it or use specific keywords. It's pretty cool. With additional development (which we can assume is happening now) this will be a great feature.
 

guitargoddsjm

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2008
391
0
MA
Not to be rude, but Android voice commands are half baked. What's the point if it works only sometimes?

Compared to the scenario above, yes, Android voice commands are half baked; however, I can hold down the magnifying glass button on the bottom and get a system-wide (to the best of my knowledge) voice prompt and say "Navigate to ..." Whether it's a landmark or an address, 9 times out of 10, it recognizes exactly what I say and it loads the GPS app with the proper destination.

Granted, I use this maybe 2-3 times a month on my girlfriend's Droid Incredible, so I'm certainly not an Android expert.
 

sziehr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2009
673
488
the voice command thing i will belive a good one when i see it. I used the androind one up to revision 2.3 and it was severaly half baked at best. I hope apple wates gets it right and comes out ahead. I can see this being the ios 5.5 mid revision add on with ipad 3 and LTE iphone. The now you can just talk to it and it will do what you want no more typing why type when you can talk is what steve will say
 

Worf

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2010
198
8
Yeah one must concede that Android voice nav is pretty impeccable. This'll probably be a iOS 5.1 feature. I don't mind the wait, just hoping that we get it before 2012 since the update cycle has shifted.
 

bdkennedy1

Suspended
Oct 24, 2002
1,275
528
What absolutely blows my mind is how far behind Apple is with this. The Macintosh was the first computer with text to speech and 30 years later they are finally adding speech recognition to iOS after other companies have been doing it for the past 5 years.
 

koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,190
9
I am rarely in an environment where I would want to talk to my phone. I am also rarely on the phone having a conversation... but I can't see this catching on much outside of navigation aids for those driving.

... or geeks sat, alone, in basements. :rolleyes:
 

nightfly13

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2008
679
0
Ranchi, India
What absolutely blows my mind is how far behind Apple is with this. The Macintosh was the first computer with text to speech and 30 years later they are finally adding speech recognition to iOS after other companies have been doing it for the past 5 years.

I disagree, respectfully :)

iOS has had voice commands 'play songs by the Beatles' or 'call home' for ages. The 'smartness' of 'Assistant' is pretty revolutionary, imho. Looks sweet.
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 603
Dec 9, 2008
5,366
28,117
the voice command thing i will belive a good one when i see it. I used the androind one up to revision 2.3 and it was severaly half baked at best. I hope apple wates gets it right and comes out ahead. I can see this being the ios 5.5 mid revision add on with ipad 3 and LTE iphone. The now you can just talk to it and it will do what you want no more typing why type when you can talk is what steve will say

Tend to understand Yoda-talk, even the smartest of phones do not. Maybe that's why you haven't seen a good voice command system yet. :D
 

mattkowalski

macrumors member
Jun 3, 2010
93
0
Hope it's a big improvement on the current voice recognition...

Me: Play song by [band name].

Phone: Dialing [ex-girlfriend's name].

...not helpful while driving!
 
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