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Rumor: Voice features weren't ready for WWDC, will still be in iOS 5

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Advanced voice control features were rumored to be a major feature of iOS 5, but weren't demonstrated this week. A new rumor claims that's because the functionality wasn't ready, but is still planned for release this fall.

Characterizing this week's Worldwide Developers Conference as "the Nuance no-show," TechCrunch said that at least three of its sources were "very surprised" about the lack of mention of voice control features in iOS 5. Commenting on the story, Robert Scoble said he heard the feature wasn't done in time for WWDC.

"I was told weeks ago by my source (same one who told me Twitter would be integrated deeply into the OS) that Siri wouldn't be done in time," Scoble said. "Maybe for this fall's release of iPhone 5? After all, they need to have some fun things to demo for us in August, no?"

Apple did highlight Twitter integration as a major feature of iOS 5 during its keynote on Monday. But no mention of new voice controls or commands were made, and the first beta issued to developers has no changes in that respect.

Both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported earlier this year that Apple was working on improved voice navigation in the next major update to iOS, the mobile operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. And a later report claimed that voice commands would be "deeply integrated" into iOS 5.

The groundwork was laid for Apple's anticipated voice command overhaul when Apple acquired Siri, an iPhone personal assistant application heavily dependent on voice commands. With Siri, users can issue tasks to their iPhone using complete sentences, such as "What's happening this weekend around here?"



And last month, another rumor claimed that Apple was partnering with Nuance for its new voice recognition component of iOS 5. Lending support to that, Nuance's chief mobile technology architect was reportedly in attendance at the WWDC keynote in San Francisco on Monday.
post #2 of 34
Quote:
"Maybe for this fall's release of iPhone 5? After all, they need to have some fun things to demo for us in August, no?"

This was my thought when I was watching the keynote. I'll go a step further. I'm guessing the new nuance/siri/whatever powered voice controls will only be available on the iPhone 5, much like the original Voice Control was available on the 3GS and not the 3G.
post #3 of 34
I'm very skeptical. If the feature wasn't even ready for a demo, it's not likely to be ready for prime-time in a few months.
post #4 of 34
I'm willing to bet it's ready, but it's an iPhone 5 (4S, whatever) only feature. Why would apple roll out a new phone with a faster CPU but not offer anything which takes advantage if the new power? The iPad 2 got a vastly better version of GarageBand, iPhone 4 got FaceTime and 3GS got the original voice commands.

No surprise here.
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post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mebbert View Post

I'm very skeptical. If the feature wasn't even ready for a demo, it's not likely to be ready for prime-time in a few months.

Maybe it was ready for a demo, but not as ready so simply didn't make the cut for other reasons. This was their longest keynote, at least as far back as I can recall. They had 10 prime features per 3 product category to discuss. That's a a lot to cover. Plus, this is WWDC so even if they had it "fully baked" so that it works but have no APIs for it yet to allow developers to tie into it then I can see how this one feature might get pushed out for another.
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post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyguido View Post

The iPad 2 got a vastly better version of GarageBand

Explain what you think GarageBand can do on an iPad 2 that it can't on an iPad.

But I agree about the voice. It'd be just like Apple to pull that.

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post #7 of 34
And what about UI widgets and cloud streaming. Is this gonna be in iOS5 as well?
post #8 of 34
The Nuance tech is used in Lion not iOS
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Maybe it was ready for a demo, but not as ready so simply didn't make the cut for other reasons. This was their longest keynote, at least as far back as I can recall. They had 10 prime features per 3 product category to discuss. That's a a lot to cover. Plus, this is WWDC so even if they had it "fully baked" so that it works but have no APIs for it yet to allow developers to tie into it then I can see how this one feature might get pushed out for another.

I'm no analyst, but it's not even on the website. My guess is that they're working on it, but it's chances for this release are dicey, at best.
post #10 of 34
Anyone notice this?

post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyguido View Post

I'm willing to bet it's ready, but it's an iPhone 5 (4S, whatever) only feature. Why would apple roll out a new phone with a faster CPU but not offer anything which takes advantage if the new power? The iPad 2 got a vastly better version of GarageBand, iPhone 4 got FaceTime and 3GS got the original voice commands.

No surprise here.

I totally agree.. This is a HUGE potential new feature that's being saved for i5 launch. Believe it when I say there will be more to the i5 then what was "revealed" at wwdc. Gawd why would apple fully reveal it's competitive hand three months before launch of a new device?

Not to mention what they had to say yesterday was almost too much too much to digest at one keynote, seriously. My gut feeling was that as well. Too much information is not always a good thing. Also they don't have to open the new navi stuff to developers today. That can be achieved after it's reveal.

Still this is majorly a exciting time for us apple knuckleheads. Don't worry..be happy
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlh630 View Post

Anyone notice this?


That would seem to be the reverse, as in the iPhone speaking to you, part of the accessibility options.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlh630 View Post

Anyone notice this?


Great point.. That says it all :lol
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlh630 View Post

Anyone notice this?


There you have it. Certainly not the first time I've been wrong...
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mebbert View Post

There you have it. Certainly not the first time I've been wrong...

I was about to post the same picture, figured that now.

But it would not be the naive voice search you have in Android, but a very well done digital assistant who will also respond to voice commands. The early investors in Siri said that it's acquisition by Apple was a perfect match, think of the world's most advanced AI in the hands of the worlds most powerful consumer electronics company. It may be pretty big indeed. They also said that the old blue link model of web is dying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SYWnRMqW8E
post #16 of 34
Apple released updates to iWork for the iPhone and iPad last week...probably because it couldn't fit in the keynote. Most of us guess that they'll release a new phone in the fall, at which time they're going to want to announce more than just addiitonal sensors.

So, maybe it'll be:

1) Nuance / Speech recognition - I believe Apple is going to figure out a way to make this more than just voice to text. If Siri is any indication, I should be able to speak general wishes (I want two tickets to see Tree of Life at 7pm at Showcase Cinema). So, Mobile Search done in an Apple way so that it indirectly competes with Google Search.

2) NFC Hardware - iPay - Using an iPad /iPhone with Square NFC enabled dongle

3) Faster, Lighter, Better Camera, etc.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by crustyjusty View Post

1) Nuance / Speech recognition - I believe Apple is going to figure out a way to make this more than just voice to text. If Siri is any indication, I should be able to speak general wishes (I want two tickets to see Tree of Life at 7pm at Showcase Cinema). So, Mobile Search done in an Apple way so that it indirectly competes with Google Search.

I too said the same thing. But I should also add that I am not expecting the speech recognition accuracy of Apple's system to be as good as Google's, even with the best Nuance support. More specifically it may be as good in less noisy environments, but Google does very well in noisy settings. The reason for that is they have a lot of data which they collected from Google voice search; this is around the time of the first iPhone.

Which is why I think the initial focus may be as much on a visual personal assistant as a voice based one. And besides, not all of us would like to bark into our phones all the time.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

But no mention of new voice controls or commands were made, and the first beta issued to developers has no changes in that respect.

Check out this slide...



You see several voice features mentioned:
- Option to speak text selection
- VoiceOver action support
- VoiceOver item choose

Would these be benefitted from Siri, or require Siri to work at their best?
post #19 of 34
Well, they copied the Android Notification system, they might as well copy the voice commands and voice input from Android as well... These are two areas where Android was significantly better than iOS....
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

Check out this slide...



You see several voice features mentioned:
- Option to speak text selection
- VoiceOver action support
- VoiceOver item choose

Would these be benefitted from Siri, or require Siri to work at their best?

VoiceOver is their accessibility feature. You're thinking of Voice Control, which is the voice-oriented app launcher. Think of it this way. VoiceOver = text-to-speech (written word spoken out loud by the phone.)
Voice Control = speech-to-text (your spoken word parses into the written word)
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

The Nuance tech is used in Lion not iOS

I see one very obvious piece of Siri tech with no ui tie-in present in both the ios5 and lion dev builds. Pretty confident it will make final release. And no it's not VoiceOver.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblackswan View Post

I too said the same thing. But I should also add that I am not expecting the speech recognition accuracy of Apple's system to be as good as Google's, even with the best Nuance support. More specifically it may be as good in less noisy environments, but Google does very well in noisy settings. The reason for that is they have a lot of data which they collected from Google voice search; this is around the time of the first iPhone.

Which is why I think the initial focus may be as much on a visual personal assistant as a voice based one. And besides, not all of us would like to bark into our phones all the time.

Google's voice recognition tech is inferior to Nuance's--it was developed by former Nuance guys and had to play patent skirting games. And Google has nothing like Siri, they just feed a transcript of your request into a global google search. My Android evangelist friend thinks the Siri tech would give Apple a significant edge over Android at least given current apis.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Well, they copied the Android Notification system, they might as well copy the voice commands and voice input from Android as well... These are two areas where Android was significantly better than iOS....

You mean they copied the WebOS notification system right JUST like Android copied it? Android trolls always out of their depth.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Well, they copied the Android Notification system, they might as well copy the voice commands and voice input from Android as well... These are two areas where Android was significantly better than iOS....

And by "copy" you mean "have voice commands"? So if Google does voice control, anyone else who does voice control, no matter what the underlying tech or how implemented, is a "copy"?

But remember kids, phones that mimic the iPhone in almost every particular are just doing the next and obvious thing.
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post #25 of 34
Did anybody see this?! Holy cow...



LED flash for incoming calls and alerts!!!!

Anyone have any idea how they will do this???
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post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

Did anybody see this?! Holy cow...

image: http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/z...2/LEDflash.png

LED flash for incoming calls and alerts!!!!

Anyone have any idea how they will do this???

Great catch!

edit: Being told that's been there since the Flash was added for Accessibility needs. It's not a new HW feature on the front of iPhones showing you new messages.
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post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by uplift1 View Post

Google's voice recognition tech is inferior to Nuance's--it was developed by former Nuance guys and had to play patent skirting games. And Google has nothing like Siri, they just feed a transcript of your request into a global google search. My Android evangelist friend thinks the Siri tech would give Apple a significant edge over Android at least given current apis.

Well I was the first to post here about how awesome Siri could be. Android voice really does not do much.

But as for it's recognition in noisy environments I am skeptical about how good it will be initially. And that does not mean that it would not improve, its all a matter of the right set of data. I have friends at both Nuance and Google, and most research people who actually work on the cutting edge of speech recognition are amazed by Google's quality on the street etc. It's not about how good it is as a system, but that they have access to noisy unclean data through their earlier efforts.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Great catch!

edit: Being told that's been there since the Flash was added for Accessibility needs. It's not a new HW feature on the front of iPhones showing you new messages.

Ahhh... that's disappointing.

I would still dearly love a softly glowing led somewhere to indicate a missed call, new message etc without having to turn on the phone screen...
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post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

VoiceOver is their accessibility feature. You're thinking of Voice Control, which is the voice-oriented app launcher. Think of it this way. VoiceOver = text-to-speech (written word spoken out loud by the phone.)
Voice Control = speech-to-text (your spoken word parses into the written word)

Ah, that explains it then. I guess voice control remains a mystery. It still wouldn't make much sense that they wouldn't show it yet because it'll be an exclusive iPhone 4S/5 feature though. Must just not be ready for primetime yet.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Well, they copied the Android Notification system, they might as well copy the voice commands and voice input from Android as well... These are two areas where Android was significantly better than iOS....

Siri isn't really about voice commands and input. The magic (and some would say money) is in how it "connects" input to relevant vendors and services. It's far more than just a seach engine.

Google's making some inroads here as well. They acquired Aardvark which does social searching at a less sophisticated level than Siri.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aardvark_(search_engine)
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post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

Ahhh... that's disappointing.

I would still dearly love a softly glowing led somewhere to indicate a missed call, new message etc without having to turn on the phone screen...

My idea from 2007-08 was to make the Home Button from translucent plastic or glass with a small LED light underneath in the center.
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post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

My idea from 2007-08 was to make the Home Button from translucent plastic or glass with a small LED light underneath in the center.

Yep, that could work well. I was envisaging a small light to the right of the phone earpiece (which would mirror the shape and size of the Facetime camera and lend (restore?) symmetry to the front of the iPhone). Something like what you see on the front of your Macbook Pro when the Facetime camera is activated...

We can only live in hope.
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post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

This was my thought when I was watching the keynote. I'll go a step further. I'm guessing the new nuance/siri/whatever powered voice controls will only be available on the iPhone 5, much like the original Voice Control was available on the 3GS and not the 3G.

Do you think there will be a Sprint iphone announced? Im hoping so, I have an iPhone 4 I bought factory unlocked from Canada to use on a rural carrier in northeastern Colorado called Viaero. Lately we have been having some issues with the carrier and want to switch, We switched away from Verizon because they have awful service where we live and had a bad experience with them. ATT doesn't have coverage where we live and have spotty coverage where I will be going to College next year at the University of Wyoming. My question to anyone, will Sprint get the iphone? There have been rumors in May that suggested the it is quite possible? I know its a little off topic.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Well, they copied the Android Notification system, they might as well copy the voice commands and voice input from Android as well... These are two areas where Android was significantly better than iOS....

It's posts like these that irritate me. I'm all fine with you disagreeing with iOS and whatnot, but you say it in such a condescending way that it's just BAITING an ugly flame war. Why do people do this?
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