Apple working on system wide voice recognition "Assistant" for iOS 5?

It looks very likely that Apple will be delivering a fully integrated voice recognition service into iOS 5 when it is released in the fall. 9to5 Mac has uncovered a setting screen which clearly shows a toggle switch for a service called Assistant. The Assistant service will supposedly take voice input to a whole new level, allowing you to control all the core operating system actions with voice. This is not the first time we have seen information pointing to system wide voice recognition and control.

“Assistant” does not work only based off a user’s voice inputs, but Apple will take information – securely – from user’s devices like location, contact’s information, and music metadata to formulate the best information to serve a user’s request. Since Apple will be taking information such as phone contacts and location, we truly think that “Assistant” will work just like the Siri iPhone application does; but fully integrated into the operating system.

Apple is said to be still working on this feature for iOS 5 and it is unclear at this stage if it will be ready in time for the iOS 5 fall release. It does look like this could be an exclusive feature for the iPhone 5 too; similar to how voice control was a feature of the iPhone 3GS but not offered to earlier models when it launched.

Guess we will just have to wait and see. I am really not that excited by the prospect of voice control. Unless it is done perfectly and works every time, it just takes longer to do things and becomes a constant source of frustration!

[9to5 Mac]


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Apple working on system wide voice recognition "Assistant" for iOS 5?


Hope by voice recognition we can say stuff without having to tap record and stop. Hope it talks back with answers instead of us reading again and having to scroll and tap again. Get it.

Um.... Can I just have voice integrated into the native SMS/email? And it should recognize custom labels in contacts, too! Please and thanks.

Funny, but I don't recall seeing any Android phones in 2007. They must've been in boxes. Oh, that's right... they "stole" it.

I'm not so crazy about voice commands, but I'd like to see Dragon speech recognition built into ios so that it was available any time a keyboard is used. Particularly for sms and email.