9to5Mac's resident shinobi, Mark Gurman, has posted details on several upcoming -- or potentially upcoming -- iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad features for iOS 5), including the Nuance-powered, voice controlled Assistant, a new online iOS diagnostic service, and Find my Friends social sharing.
Assistant, likely built on Apple's SIRI artificial intelligence acquisition, and powered by Nuance's voice recognition engine, is now in testing. What's more, just like Google's Mobile app for iOS, it just might use the accelerometer and proximity sensor to activate when you bring your iPhone to your ear.
According to code strings we have found in the iOS 5 SDK, all a user will need to do is move their iPhone to their ear, speak, and the requested action will occur.
Find my Friends code seems to have existed in the outgoing MobileMe service, so whether Apple intended to deploy it earlier but is now waiting for iCloud, or whether they've cancelled their plans for it is uncertain.
According to the code, users will be able to select other users to “follow.” Once a user “follows” another user, they will gain access to information about the user besides their location.
Once followed, users could share Photo Streams, Video Streams (not currently available in iOS 5 betas), map location, etc.
Lastly, it looks like Apple might be getting ready to roll out an updated iOS Diagnostics service.
There has never been an easier way for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to give service providers the information they need to troubleshoot and diagnose iOS devices effectively. Users benefit from a faster and more accurate diagnosis. The in-depth information that iOS Diagnostics retrieves can be invaluable to technician’s troubleshooting efforts.
Diagnostics could become available in the next couple months, while Assistant and Find my Friends, if it launches, feel more like features that would be introduced at the iPhone 5 event we expect sometime later this month.