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iOS 5 Beta 5 Contains Speech-To-Text Feature

More evidence of a speech-to-text feature that Apple is calling Dictation has surfaced in iOS 5 beta 5 and the feature will most likely be using the technology that Apple is licensing from speech company Nuance. We had heard rumors that Siri’s artificial intelligence and assistance technology may be deeply integrated into iOS 5, before it was unveiled at WWDC 2011 Keynote and the feature seems to be called Dictation for now, according to files in iOS 5 b5, but that very well could change before the release……………

 

Apple‘s latest iOS 5 Beta 5 contains the interface elements for their rumored upcoming Speech Recognition features and a screenshot shows a microphone button found on the standard text keyboard in iOS, which is shots by 9to5mac.com. Apple has long been rumored to be working on an intelligent assistant speech interface to iOS based on their Siri acquisition and this latest screenshot shows how the speech recognition can be called up from any standard text entry field. Apple’s original approach, which employed a spacebar hold to start the Nuance service has been eliminated in favor of a dedicated key and for those who text primarily with their right hand, the left-side toggle placement probably isn’t a big deal. Couple of weeks back, folks at 9 to 5 Mac had published a screenshot from an Apple iPhone test unit, which indicates that the feature will be called Assistant. They have published another screenshot from iOS 5 with a microphone in the standard keyboard. They explain how the feature will work:

As you can see, it is quite simple. Just click the microphone icon next to the space key and start talking. Once the key is clicked, a new microphone overlay will appear as long as you are talking. After that, the text will appear in the text field as you can see in the screenshot above.


 

Back in June, we saw couple of screenshots, which revealed Settings for Nuance’s speech recognition technology built into what appeared to an internal iOS 5 build as these settings are not available in iOS 5 beta that was released to developers. The screenshot confirm that Apple is definitely working on integrating Nuance speech recognition technology in iOS. We hope that Apple introduces it at the iPhone 5 launch later this fall. Meanwhile, MacRumors points out that Apple has gone out of its way to hide the feature in iOS 5:

Apple’s certainly aware that individuals comb through every new developer beta looking for hints of upcoming features. In this instance, they’ve obfuscated the names of various pieces of the interface. For example, calling the microphone button “forward delete key” and the keyboard pretends to be a “Dvorak” keyboard. The move is a reflection of the increased scrutiny of Apple’s moves but also the relative significance of this feature that Apple has gone out of its way to hide.


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