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Apple's Cook says iOS 8 voice messaging a key feature, prompts speculation of inclusion in 'iWatch'

post #1 of 66
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Citing a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, an analyst released a report on Wednesday predicting iOS 8's new voice messaging feature could trickle down to a long-rumored "iWatch" wearable device, noting the gesture-based messaging technique is ideal for small-screened devices.

iWatch concept


In a research note issued on Wednesday, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich described the recent meeting with Cook, saying Apple's chief is keen on Chinese-style voice messaging that allows users to dictate messages to their phones before sending them off, reports Fortune. The analyst believes that porting such a feature to a wrist-worn device "makes sense."

"When we visited with Tim Cook, he said that walking down streets in China one sees people speaking into their phones sending voice rather than text messages," Milunovich writes. "It also could aid penetration of China, which Cook said has a ways to go."

While Apple's current iOS 7 features speech-to-text dictation, it does not have voice messaging functionality built in. Third-party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger are quickly incorporating the feature, however.

In the next-generation iOS 8, Apple includes voice messaging technology in the Messages app as an alternative to traditional text-based input. Current beta builds of the forthcoming mobile OS let users record a voice message with a single tap-and-hold gesture, then send it or cancel by swiping, a method that would be of use on a device like a wearable.




Messages will also be able to send video messages in much the same way, with simple one-finger gestures controlling the process of recording and sending.

While Cook did not call the iWatch out by name, the analyst believes iOS 8's upcoming voice messaging capabilities could be a keystone feature for the rumored wearable. Instead of trying to tap in text on a small screen, users would be able to simply talk to the device, perform one or two simple gestures and send the message on its way.

With rumors pointing to an October release, speculation as to what Apple is planning with the as-yet-unannounced iWatch has ramped up in recent weeks. Some reports claim the supposed wearable will come with more than ten sensors capable of detecting movement and deciphering health-related metrics like a user's heart rate. Others say the wearable will come with a "slightly rectangular" display could boast a new form of wireless charging.

As for Milunovich, he considers voice messaging as one of Apple's "jobs to be done" for the iWatch.
post #2 of 66
Viber has had this feature for a while now.
post #3 of 66
In iMessages in iOS 8 do you have the ability to preview the voice message before you send it?
post #4 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

In iMessages in iOS 8 do you have the ability to preview the voice message before you send it?


Indeed you do.

 

After holding the Voice Message button, depressing it turns it into a Play button to playback the recording before sending.

post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's current iOS 7 does not have dictation functionality built, though third-party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger are quickly incorporating the feature.

 

iOS7 does include Dictation. The dictation button appears next to the space bar on text keyboards throughout the OS.

 

iOS7 does not however include an easy way to send Voice Messages.

post #6 of 66
I don't know about voice messages, but ever since I got an ERA Earpiece, I hardly ever do any typing: I dictate everything and use Siri to make calls, and even initiate the writing of emails.
post #7 of 66
I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"When we visited with Tim Cook, he said that walking down streets in China one sees people speaking into their phones sending voice rather than text messages," 

So what app are these people in China using to send the voice messages?

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post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.


Then by your logic surely you cannot see the point in a text message?

 

Why not just call someone and have a conversation, and if they're not available leave an answer phone message.

 

This is a very obvious upgrade to text message with regards to convenience. Instead of writing it out, which is slow, you can speak your message. 

post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.

I think there is a purpose. If you are walking it might be easier to send a voice message. It is not exactly like a conversation in real time. Think of it just like a text message exchange, just easier to compose while on the go. 

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post #11 of 66
C'mon Samesung release a new Gear with this feature before Apple release iWatch.
post #12 of 66
It would be cool if the recipient could chose to have either the audio or convert the message to text.
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post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.

 

Sometimes people don't want to be disturbed by an incoming call which buzzes/rings for a while in their pocket unless they take action to silence it.  A text message is generally less invasive.

 
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post #14 of 66
I already can dictate a msg in Voice Memos and send it through Messages app. A wrist worn device would be easier, but not some grand revelation as opposed to just taking out my iPhone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

It would be cool if the recipient could chose to have either the audio or convert the message to text.

And then have Siri read it to you, if the sender has an annoying voice¡
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.
One point might be cost.
In most countries every call is charged and even leaving or receiving voice messages costs more money.
So sending an audio message via iMessage or any other messaging system that supports this means that it is just data. [Yes I know data costs money but not the same as the prices that Telcos charge for messaging and voice data ]
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.


You may recording something incriminating and send it out before they kill you :-) Like that who sent a text message out before allegedly killed by NFL player Aaron Hernandez.

post #17 of 66
Heytell has had this feature for years. And is it cross-platform! This is ideal for an iWatch.
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

In iMessages in iOS 8 do you have the ability to preview the voice message before you send it?

 

Reminds me of the "Family Guy" bit:

 

BRIAN: "Do you even listen to yourself when you talk?"

PETER: "I drift in and out."

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I already can dictate a msg in Voice Memos and send it through Messages app. A wrist worn device would be easier, but not some grand revelation as opposed to just taking out my iPhone.

But it will be more convenient and quicker to do. Instead of 7 arduous steps to send a voice message (open Voice Memos, create memo, save memo, find memo and hit share button, copy or hit text messages, find recipient, hit send) it'll take 3 quick ones (find text message, hold record and speak, hit send).
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post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.
I prefer texting over phoning about 90 percent of the time. Besides, my kids rarely answer the phone or listen to their voice mail in this day and age.
iOS 7 currently voice texts just fine: summon Siri and ask him to text anyone in your contacts, dictate your message, and it is done - you even get a preview of your text before permitting Siri to send it off. I only wish Siri would proofread the text back in order to keep the experience 100 percent eyes-free.
post #21 of 66
iPod plays MP3s? My Diamond Rio has had this feature for years before the iPod. Apple = fail. /s

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post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

iPod plays MP3s? My Diamond Rio has had this feature for years before the iPod. Apple = fail. /s


I thought Diamond Rio was a band. ;)

post #23 of 66
Might this be language related in China? Not being an expert here but I have to imagine keyboard "text" entry in Chinese would be difficult. I'm not convinced there is a universal need here.
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyboyrocker View Post

I prefer texting over phoning about 90 percent of the time. Besides, my kids rarely answer the phone or listen to their voice mail in this day and age.
iOS 7 currently voice texts just fine: summon Siri and ask him to text anyone in your contacts, dictate your message, and it is done - you even get a preview of your text before permitting Siri to send it off. I only wish Siri would proofread the text back in order to keep the experience 100 percent eyes-free.

For what it's worth, I found recently that when Siri asks whether or not you want to send the text message, instead of saying yes or no, say 'read it' or 'read it to me', and she'll do just that. Pretty slick that way.......as you said, it keeps it hands free.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.

Great idea! Now take that idea and overlay it with the convenience of time-shifting that texting allows in a conversation. And... well, and that's voice texting! Lol!
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post #26 of 66

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not the kind of person who usually has a fully formed sentence ready for transcription. Voice for me is only useful when in a quiet environment and for short comments.

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post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

It would be cool if the recipient could chose to have either the audio or convert the message to text.

It's on the list. Let the playback be the converted text so it can be checked for accuracy before sending. Only trouble is, it's not easy to always convert voice to text. I have Filipina friends that have a hard time with Siri and Google Now. Your friend on the other end, with their human brain and familiarity with your accent and voice, can currently do a better job understanding what you say versus the voice recognition engine in your phone. But that will eventually change and then you'll have a choice which to send.
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post #28 of 66
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not the kind of person who usually has a fully formed sentence ready for transcription. Voice for me is only useful when in a quiet environment and for short comments.

You'd get accostomed to this form of time shift voice conversation very quickly once you start doing it. Just as a live voice conversation begins to flow easily after it is initiated, so too does a text conversation and so too will a voice text conversation. The time shifting actually helps the flow as it takes away the burden to immediately respond before collecting one's thoughts for a second or two. Things flow smoother when time is stretched out.
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post #29 of 66
I don't think I have setup my voicemail since I switched to AT&T when the iPhone 3G came out.... Voice Text Messages definitely aren't a make or break deal for me but I have used them a fair bit in the last month.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

It would be cool if the recipient could chose to have either the audio or convert the message to text.

 

You can still use the microphone button next to the spacebar to dictate a text message.

post #30 of 66

Who wants to wear anything on their wrist?

 
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post #31 of 66
Divorced parents are going to use the f@ck out of this.
post #32 of 66
The new radial menu seems to be a very specific design decision and has me wondering if this hints at a potential watch display form factor.
post #33 of 66

The idea of voice messages as an alternative to text is a good one. The demo at WWDC was pretty cool, but I don't think I'll be that comfortable making even a brief voice message speaking into my wrist.

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post #34 of 66

Let's not get ahead of ourselves....this analyst was just GUESSING that such a feature MAY be used in an "iWatch" product that was not announced, hasn't shipped, and may not even exist. What we do know is that it WILL come to iPhone this fall with iOS 8.

 

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post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

I cannot see the point in this feature, why not just call someone and have a conversation? If the are not available to take the call leave an answer phone message.

Lmao. No.

As already pointed out, there was surely someone 10-15 years ago that said, "text message?" Why not just call someone and have a conversation.

No.
post #36 of 66
Originally Posted by pmz View Post
As already pointed out, there was surely someone 10-15 years ago that said, "text message?" Why not just call someone and have a conversation.

 

That’s not even remotely an answer.

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post #37 of 66
So the idea of texting, I guess (never done it, never will), is to get someone on the phone and then type at them. Nothing regressive about that. 1rolleyes.gif

And everybody nowadays says they don't need a watch: "I can just use my phone." So they've reinvented the pocket watch, except without a fob, so they have to fish around in their pocket for it, and then drag it out to hold it up and look at it.

Now this voice messaging is recreating the walkie-talkie. At least that's only going back to WWII instead of the 19th century.

Seriously, it seems like every advance in technology is accompanied by a regression (and by a century and a half in some cases) in convenience and usability. Why even call a phone a phone if you're going to use it as a teletype machine?
post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

So the idea of texting, I guess (never done it, never will), is to get someone on the phone and then type at them. Nothing regressive about that.

Why am I getting them on the phone before sending a text-based message? Do you have to get someone to pick up their phone to read to an email or even read this forum? Of course not.
Quote:
Now this voice messaging is recreating the walkie-talkie. At least that's only going back to WWII instead of the 19th century.

The messages are received by the device, like an email or posts on this forum, and then the user reads them when they choose to. With a walkie talkie the messages have to be received in real time which is closer to a phone call.

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post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not the kind of person who usually has a fully formed sentence ready for transcription. Voice for me is only useful when in a quiet environment and for short comments.

And in between bites of your sandwich. 1wink.gif
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post #40 of 66
Not at all. Chinese can easily text as fast as any.

It's a generational thing. 20's/30's and below like to voice message.

I'm in a class right now with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and several other nationalities. During class they text. On break they mostly voice message. Same with my students in the states.

Think of it as a turn-based conversation. The convenience of a conversation without have to dedicate blocks of time to the conversation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Might this be language related in China? Not being an expert here but I have to imagine keyboard "text" entry in Chinese would be difficult. I'm not convinced there is a universal need here.
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