Following months of speculation, it would appear that Apple is indeed planning on launching a Siri-like system navigation feature with iOS 5. The feature, called “Assistant,” is expected integrate seamlessly within the iOS, and work alongside contacts, location and other aspects of the mobile operating system.
The news came in an article recently published by Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. As you can see in the above screenshot, it would appear that users will have the option of enabling the feature in the Settings app. Once enabled, Assistant will be able to receive voice commands and provide answers based various aspects of the user’s iOS operating system. According to Mark:
“Assistant” does not work only based off a user’s voice inputs, but Apple will take information – securely – from user’s devices like location, contact’s information, and music metadata to formulate the best information to serve a user’s request. Since Apple will be taking information such as phone contacts and location, we truly think that “Assistant” will work just like the Siri iPhone application does; but fully integrated into the operating system.
In case you forgot, Siri Assistant turns an iPhone into a digital concierge. It’s an impressive app – so impressive that Apple purchased it last year. Naturally, following the purchase we heard that Apple was planning on integrating Siri’s powerful technology within the iOS.
Furthermore, Assistant will be crowd-sourced: Apparently, users will have the option of sending data to Apple, so that the service may be improved over time. And Mark also notes that Assistant will utilize Nuance technology and “speak back” to the user.
Now, let’s talk about compatibility. For a while now, we’ve discussed the possibility that an improved voice recognition feature might launch as an iPhone 5 exclusive. This could be made possible via the smart phone’s expected Apple A5 processor, or it could be that Apple just plain wants to premiere the service exclusively on the iPhone 5, even if it could technically be compatible with other iOS devices. This scenario sees Apple launch an improved Voice Control feature with iOS 5, but only have it feature on the fifth generation handset. The 9to5Mac article acknowledges this possibility, noting that these features have not yet been found in the iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS.
Alternatively, it could be that the feature doesn’t make it past the beta stage of development. Here’s hoping we see some aspects of the above feature launch in the final version of iOS 5. For a better idea of what the feature might entail, take a look at the below demo video of Siri Assistant.