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Mockups demonstrate Apple's anticipated iPhone 5 'Assistant' feature

post #1 of 82
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A new video demonstrates how Apple's "Assistant" voice control functionality in its forthcoming fifth-generation iPhone is expected to work.

Voice recognition is expected to be a major feature of the next iPhone, to be unveiled at next week's media event. Based on information culled from sources, MacRumors drew a mockup and commissioned a video that claim to show off how the rumored feature will work.

Dubbed Assistant, it will reportedly allow users to speak to their iPhone and accomplish a number of tasks through natural language, like sending text messages, looking up information, or scheduling an appointment. The functionality shown is similar to Siri, a "personal assistant" application for the iPhone that Apple purchased in April of 2010.

Arnold Kim said users will invoke the Assistant feature by holding down the home button on the iPhone to display a microphone on the bottom of the screen, similar to the current multitasking interface. Once the microphone is displayed, users will be able to speak to their handset and operate it handsfree.

The site contracted Jan-Michael Cart to create a video that intends to show off how the new feature is expected to work. In the first demonstration, the user give the command "Send a text to Scott Forstall saying, 'I like the new assistant.'" From there, the message is automatically composed, and the user is audibly asked whether the message should be sent to the contact's mobile or work number.



In a second example, the prompt "Get information on the International Space Station" is spoken aloud. The iPhone then pulls up a summary of data and pictures on the ISS automatically from Wolfram Alpha.

The new feature will reportedly be exclusive to Apple's next-generation iPhone, meaning it will not be available to current iPhone 4 owners who upgrade to iOS 5.

Apple sent out invitations to members of the media this week for an iPhone-related event set to take place next Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pacific. It read, "Let's talk iPhone," which helped to increase speculation that the next iPhone will feature new voice recognition functionality.



Prior to the unveiling of iOS 5 this June, it was rumored that the software update would feature "deep" voice integration, but the functionality was not demonstrated. After the Worldwide Developers Conference, rumors claimed the feature was not ready to be shown off at the time. However, if the feature is exclusive to a fifth-generation iPhone, Apple could not demonstrate Assistant until it unveils its next smartphone.

In addition to the acquisition of Siri, Apple is also believed to have partnered with Nuance Communications, makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, to help power the Assistant feature on the so-called "iPhone 5."
post #2 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In the first demonstration, the user give the command "Send a text to Scott Forstall saying, 'I like the new assistant.'" From there, the message is automatically composed,

If it works as well as shown here, I will be very impressed.
post #3 of 82
So basically it will work more or less like voice commands in Android..... (I have an android phone and contrary to propaganda they work pretty well)

I wonder if the popup keyboard will have a mic button like Android. I find that to be a very handy way to enter text into virtually any text input field? It does not always understand everything I say, but it is usually close enough so that it is faster to edit the text than to type it all in....
post #4 of 82
I am not a fan of the long hold of the Home Button for accessing Voice Control, a service I oft use on my iPhone. I want something that is faster to access, especially if it's going to be offering considerably more utility than currently found in iOS 4.x/5.0. While I doubt it I do hope that moving of the volume/mute switch to the other side is actually an Assistant button that will access the feature immediately when pressed on the new G5 iPhone.
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post #5 of 82
iPhone, please post to AppleInsider forums thread 133237 saying, "I can't wait for the usual suspects to post their Apple copies Android again comments. You know who you are. Smiley face."

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post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new video demonstrates how Apple's "Assistant" voice control functionality in its forthcoming fifth-generation iPhone is expected to work. ...

This is pretty cool, but if I have to listen to Lilly Allen while I'm using it ...

I'd rather kill myself instead.
post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is pretty cool, but if I have to listen to Lilly Allen while I'm using it ...

I'd rather kill myself instead.

But I have never found voice commands to work on any platform using any software. The really useful place would be if it worked in the car but that's even less likely. I usually find it is far quicker to go the manual route - though I am an eternal optimist and so look forward to using this feature. ...\
post #8 of 82
I've found the voice voice recognition features on Android phone to work phenomenally well, similarly to what this video demonstrates. I was quite surprised that it required no training and deciphers my grumblings better than some humans. All that being said, I never use it. Not sure why, maybe I am just too lazy to retrain myself to do so.
post #9 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I am not a fan of the long hold of the Home Button for accessing Voice Control, a service I oft use on my iPhone. I want something that is faster to access, especially if it's going to be offering considerably more utility than currently found in iOS 4.x/5.0. While I doubt it I do hope that moving of the volume/mute switch to the other side is actually an Assistant button that will access the feature immediately when pressed on the new G5 iPhone.

I was thinking the same thing. Sooner or later they may need to add another button someplace. But look how long it took to get a second button on the mouse!
post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

iPhone, please post to AppleInsider forums thread 133237 saying, "I can't wait for the usual suspects to post their Apple copies Android again comments. You know who you are. Smiley face."

I think the irony here is that the 'fandroid' is the guy or gal who can already most closely mimic this process.
post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

If it works as well as shown here, I will be very impressed.

Exactly. I was impressed enough with Siri to delete it after about 5 minutes of screwing around. Same with Dragon. I'm told my voice is not difficult to understand

By far the best voice recognition I've used to date is the Voice Control Dial that comes with the latest build on the iPhone 4.

And if it's true, IMHO, not a real smart move on Apple's part to make Assistant an iPhone 5 feature exclusively. (that is, if there is an iPhone 5)
post #12 of 82
I like the video. Guess we'll find out as soon as Tuesday if this is packaged with the new iPhone 5
post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

I've found the voice voice recognition features on Android phone to work phenomenally well, similarly to what this video demonstrates. I was quite surprised that it required no training and deciphers my grumblings better than some humans. All that being said, I never use it. Not sure why, maybe I am just too lazy to retrain myself to do so.

I've had an Android for a couple months now. I use voice recognition all the time for texts, but it has to have a good connection to do it. I guess it uses the cloud to work? Either that or their servers can't be too busy... not sure which.

But it works pretty well. Just now learned about the other voice commands, so I'll try to start using those.

I'm on Sprint, so I'll be getting an iPhone very soon. Then I can make a pretty good judgement about which platform is better.

One beef. The general email program has a delete button on the lower right. The 'gmail' program has the delete button in the lower middle. I guess the different groups at Google don't talk to each other? Not sure Apple would allow such inconsistency.
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

So basically it will work more or less like voice commands in Android..... (I have an android phone and contrary to propaganda they work pretty well)

I wonder if the popup keyboard will have a mic button like Android. I find that to be a very handy way to enter text into virtually any text input field? It does not always understand everything I say, but it is usually close enough so that it is faster to edit the text than to type it all in....

When I try Dragon Dictate vs Google Translate on iPhone, Dragon gives better results for my voice. If Apple is using Nuance's technology it should work pretty well.

On the other hand Google Translate works surprisingly well for me in Spanish, Japanese as well as English. Dragon is apparently North American English only, at least that is the way it exists on my iPhone currently.

EDIT: Dragon does work in other languages. I found the settings and after briefly testing in Spanish it works well.

Bottom line is I can't see Apple releasing a major feature like that and it only works in the USA when more than half of their iPhone sales are other countries.

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post #15 of 82
All I can say is, I hope to hell Apple actually intends this functionality for iOS 5. With this level of conjuring up, people are absolutely freak if it turns out just to be another unfulfilled rumor after all.
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post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

I've found the voice voice recognition features on Android phone to work phenomenally well, similarly to what this video demonstrates. I was quite surprised that it required no training and deciphers my grumblings better than some humans. All that being said, I never use it. Not sure why, maybe I am just too lazy to retrain myself to do so.

That's because your voice commands are uploaded and processed/analyzed by Google's server farms, not on the device itself. This has both pros and cons, obviously, as although it can tap into massive computational ability that no single device is capable of, it requires a network connection at all times, which has its own inherent lag. We'll see what route Apple goes with.
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Bottom line is I can't see Apple releasing a major feature like that and it only works in the USA when more than half of their iPhone sales are other countries.

Excellent point. Apple has done a great job of appealing to many languages around the world so having them ignore them now would be out of character.
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post #18 of 82
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Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

That's because your voice commands are uploaded and processed/analyzed by Google's server farms, not on the device itself. This has both pros and cons, obviously, as although it can tap into massive computational ability that no single device is capable of, it requires a network connection at all times, which has its own inherent lag. We'll see what route Apple goes with.

Couple of milliseconds on android is lag? You can't even perceive that as a human, lol.

I doubt that Apple's product will even come close to Android if it doesn't access the cloud. Sucks for "millions of people on ATT", or a large chunk of your internal, non-swappable storage will be consumed just for this on an iphone.

Android is doing it today, and doing it VERY well as part of the OS.

Let's see what Apple is "cook-ing", pun intended.
post #19 of 82
I could care less about this feature. Helpful for blind people, and people who drive hand's free maybe. For the rest of us typing "space station" isn't that big of a deal. Talking "look up space station" makes up look like a twat. Particuarly if it doesnt work.

iPhone to mouth.

"Look up space station"

looks at phone.

"JESUS. NO!! Not suasages. SPACE STATION"

looks at phone.

"NOT SAUSAGES! I MENTIONED SAUSAGES BECAUSE I WANTED TO POINT OUT THAT SAUSAGES WAS WHAT I DIDNT WANT"

looks at phone.

"Not SUASAGES. YOU IDIOTIC PHONE"

looks at phone.

" I KNOW THE MEANING OF IDIOTIC!"

throws phone out window.
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post #20 of 82
The whole localisation problem reminds me of the scottish guys in the lift.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMS2VnDveP8
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post #21 of 82
The functionality already works very well in Mango. Makes driving and texting a whole lot safer.
post #22 of 82
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Originally Posted by joevi View Post

The functionality already works very well in Mango. Makes driving and texting a whole lot safer.

Oh, is it Nuance-based there?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #23 of 82
I don't see any reason for this sort of voice control to require any hardware that the iphone4 doesn't already have, namely, a mic, and... well, just a mic, so if they make this stuff available only on the iphone5 HW running ios5, and not the iphone4 HW running ios5, that will be VERY irritating, as it would seem like just an artificial limitation to push iphone5 HW sales. I realize that the iphone5 will likely run an A5 chip instead of the current iphone's A4, but I'm kind of dubious that this functionality would NEED an A5 to make it work, and not work on an A4.
post #24 of 82
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Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

if they make this stuff available only on the iphone5 HW running ios5, and not the iphone4 HW running ios5, that will be VERY irritating

Welcome to the way Apple does things.

We have a free seat at table number 6,524, would you like a first-gen iPhone that is perfectly capable of MMS, video recording, and voice recognition while you wait?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

I could care less about this feature.

You could? It doesn't sound like you could.
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by joevi View Post

The functionality already works very well in Mango. Makes driving and texting a whole lot safer.

WP7, Kindle Fire, and Nokia N9 show you don't have to blatantly steal Apple's IP to make a decent product. I wish the Samgungulaters would realize that.


* That's not really working. Any better ideas?
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post #27 of 82
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Originally Posted by chabig View Post

You could? It doesn't sound like you could.

I care less about NFL. But it's close.
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post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

...so if they make this stuff available only on the iphone5 HW running ios5, and not the iphone4 HW running ios5, that will be VERY irritating, as it would seem like just an artificial limitation to push iphone5 HW sales.

And that would be bad for Apple how?
post #29 of 82
I doubt people would be making a big deal about it if Apple wasn't offering something new. The iPhone too already has basic voice command functionality. I use it occasionally.

I would argue the opposite as you do below. Google uses the Cloud for voice commands for two reasons 1) Android phones to date have lacked the processing power to analyze the voice data so it has been a necessity to do the heavy lifting in the cloud, and 2) Google is harvesting voice data for who knows what purposes. It probably doesn't want to pay for a license from a company like Nuisance, which has tons of voice data.

If the phone has the processing power to do the heavy lifting on the device that offers benefits in terms of not needing to be tied to the network, efficiency, and privacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOEW View Post

Couple of milliseconds on android is lag? You can't even perceive that as a human, lol.

I doubt that Apple's product will even come close to Android if it doesn't access the cloud. Sucks for "millions of people on ATT", or a large chunk of your internal, non-swappable storage will be consumed just for this on an iphone.

Android is doing it today, and doing it VERY well as part of the OS.

Let's see what Apple is "cook-ing", pun intended.
post #30 of 82
I don't know why you would be dubious. The processing power between the two is quite significant. Google current does the voice analyzation in the Cloud probably partially because of processor limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I don't see any reason for this sort of voice control to require any hardware that the iphone4 doesn't already have, namely, a mic, and... well, just a mic, so if they make this stuff available only on the iphone5 HW running ios5, and not the iphone4 HW running ios5, that will be VERY irritating, as it would seem like just an artificial limitation to push iphone5 HW sales. I realize that the iphone5 will likely run an A5 chip instead of the current iphone's A4, but I'm kind of dubious that this functionality would NEED an A5 to make it work, and not work on an A4.
post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I don't see any reason for this sort of voice control to require any hardware that the iphone4 doesn't already have, namely, a mic, and... well, just a mic, so if they make this stuff available only on the iphone5 HW running ios5, and not the iphone4 HW running ios5, that will be VERY irritating, as it would seem like just an artificial limitation to push iphone5 HW sales. I realize that the iphone5 will likely run an A5 chip instead of the current iphone's A4, but I'm kind of dubious that this functionality would NEED an A5 to make it work, and not work on an A4.

I concur. As much as I love Apple, they are bastards about excluding legacy hardware when they could just as easily support it. True fanboys will say that's because they want the new feature to run flawlessly and the user experience to be perfect... for some new technologies that may be true, and for some new technologies it's truly a technical limitation the old hardware doesn't support or can't handle. However, in this case and many others, it's for the sole reason to sell more hardware and make more money.
post #32 of 82
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Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

However, in this case and many others, it's for the sole reason to sell more hardware and make more money.

Every decision a for-profit company makes should be for their overall financial benefit. Everything! If you're suggesting Microsoft supports legacy HW and code because of altruistic behaviour then I'll point out their massive customer base paying licensing fees for legacy HW and code.
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post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

So basically it will work more or less like voice commands in Android..... (I have an android phone and contrary to propaganda they work pretty well)

I wonder if the popup keyboard will have a mic button like Android. I find that to be a very handy way to enter text into virtually any text input field? It does not always understand everything I say, but it is usually close enough so that it is faster to edit the text than to type it all in....

If it's anything like Siri, it will not be like Android's implementation. The cool thing about Siri was that it actually DID things. It used plug-ins to ACT on commands like, "Get me a reservation for 2 tonight at 7 PM at Sushi Raw". It could book a table, hail a cab, look up "what's going on" in a certain area, check for "the best Japanese restaurant by work", and other complicated things.

Of course, there is straight voice-to-text and vice versa (e.g. reading SMSs to you while you drive). But Assistant should be much more than that.
post #34 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

But I have never found voice commands to work on any platform using any software.

Yep. And if they hype the hell out of this iteration, my guess is that they will use a video. I will be astounded if they give a live demo.
post #35 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I am not a fan of the long hold of the Home Button for accessing Voice Control, a service I oft use on my iPhone. I want something that is faster to access, especially if it's going to be offering considerably more utility than currently found in iOS 4.x/5.0. While I doubt it I do hope that moving of the volume/mute switch to the other side is actually an Assistant button that will access the feature immediately when pressed on the new G5 iPhone.

If Apple would just replace the mechanical button with a capacitive button like I have on my back up phone (Samsung Focus). I love that in Mango I can just hold it for one second (light touch) and then do full texting and replying via voice. I really expect Apple's voice control to better than that of Mango. I hope I am not disappointed.
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOEW View Post

Android is doing it today, and doing it VERY well as part of the OS.

Strange that you 'care' what Apple is doing if your Android device is so perfect.

J.
post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Every decision a for-profit company makes should be for their overall financial benefit. Everything! If you're suggesting Microsoft supports legacy HW and code because of altruistic behaviour then I'll point out their massive customer base paying licensing fees for legacy HW and code.

Yeah, dont piss off the customer would help the bottom line in the long run.
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post #38 of 82
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Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Yeah, dont piss off the customer would help the bottom line in the long run.

That's part of the overall financial benefit, which is why a company with such a massive mindshare as Apple had to do an impromptu special event about the iPhone 4 antenna and give away cases, and has such an amazing replacement and repair policy even for when it's clearly the customer's fault. It's just better for their bottom line in the long run and their ratings on polls, growth and profit compared to their industries show they are building more bridges than they are burning.
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post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Every decision a for-profit company makes should be for their overall financial benefit. Everything! If you're suggesting Microsoft supports legacy HW and code because of altruistic behaviour then I'll point out their massive customer base paying licensing fees for legacy HW and code.

I didn't say it wasn't a (or possibly the only) reasonable or expected motive of a for-profit company. As a shareholder I want them to be as profitable as possible. I just said it's their reason.

However, a little good will can buy a lot of repeat customers.
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOEW View Post

Couple of milliseconds on android is lag? You can't even perceive that as a human, lol.

I doubt that Apple's product will even come close to Android if it doesn't access the cloud. Sucks for "millions of people on ATT", or a large chunk of your internal, non-swappable storage will be consumed just for this on an iphone.

Android is doing it today, and doing it VERY well as part of the OS.

Let's see what Apple is "cook-ing", pun intended.

milliseconds? When I do it on my Nexus it takes 2-4 seconds to work over Wifi with a fast internet connection. And half the time it spits out the wrong text.

Yes Android is at least doing it and I commend them for that. But what the video above showed and what Android does is not even on the same playing field. Android looks like broken sticks again compared to the video showing what's purportedly on the iPhone 5.
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