Apple Still Planning to Include Nuance/Siri Voice Features in iOS 5?

nuance logo 150One of the major rumors for iOS 5 that failed to materialize at Apple's WWDC keynote yesterday was new voice features from Nuance and Siri. The rumors had pegged iOS 5 as receiving significant integration of voice recognition capabilities, potentially handing off much of the processing for that functionality to its new North Carolina data center.

Apple's keynote was of course devoid of any talk of voice recognition features in iOS 5 or any other Nuance-related announcements, leading to questions about where things stand with the rumor. TechCrunch now revisits its earlier claims, noting that such a deal may still be in the works for iOS 5 but that it simply wasn't ready to go in time for WWDC.

We're still looking into this, but here's the latest we're hearing. At least three of our original sources on this were "very surprised" not to hear anything during the keynote today. One noted that leading up to the last minute, they were sure new, elaborate voice features in iOS 5 were going to be announced on stage. It didn't happen. Apple has been known to pull things at the last second. But this may go deeper.

The report goes on to speculate about whether public disclosure of the Nuance-Apple negotiations may have derailed things somewhat, given the reputations of Apple and Nuance both as hard negotiators.

In suggesting that the Nuance integration may still be in the works, the report also points to a few circumstantial pieces of evidence, including the presence of Nuance's chief mobile platform architect at the WWDC keynote and a brief on-stage demo from Apple's Roger Rosner, who is believed to be heading up the Nuance/Siri work at Apple and who may have had a last-minute change in topic after the Nuance integration was deemed not ready for public consumption.

Update: As noted by several readers, Apple's slide showing a host of iOS 5 features that were not prominently discussed during the keynote does make mention of several features related to VoiceOver and text-to-speech: "Option to speak text selection", "VoiceOver item chooser", and "VoiceOver action support". It is unclear if these are the rumored Nuance features or if the integration is truly a more substantial effort, which should include speech recognition beyond that already utilized in Voice Control on iOS.

ios 5 features

Related Roundups: iPod touch, iPad
Related Forums: iPhone, iPod touch and iPod, iPad

Top Rated Comments

Blackforge Avatar
133 months ago
I bet it is a "feature" of the next iPhone and won't be passed down to previous gen devices. Just like Voice Control wasn't added to the 3G and 2G.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cappy Avatar
133 months ago
I think the best we can guess is simply that we know Apple will have a new iphone out later this year and they will want some special features to hype it up. My guess is it will be this voice integration as the better cpu processing will help tremendously with this.

I have my doubts that this was some last minute breakdown in negotiations.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westacular Avatar
133 months ago
All of Android's voice recognition depends on Google servers for the heavy lifting; the phones are not able to do it themselves. The phone does a bunch of compression / feature-extraction on the audio, uploads the result of that, and Google sends back what it thinks was actually said.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westacular Avatar
133 months ago
I hope the weather widget can be chosen not to be the standard wether app. Coz its horrible in my country...

What's that old joke about the Netherlands... "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour"? ;)

I seriously doubt you'll be able to add a different widget. The screenshots showed the little Yahoo! logo in the corner, so the data is almost certainly still coming from The Weather Channel / weather.com.

That said, there was mention of other long-overdue improvements to the weather app -- namely, hourly forecasts, and showing weather for your current location (instead of forcing you to lookup and add it manually, finally!) -- so who knows, there might be other possibilities in store.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
-LikesMac- Avatar
133 months ago
If it IS coming in iOS 5

Then it is probably an iPhone 5 exclusive feature (They might also show iPad 2 support, unless it needs more RAM or something).

Notice, "over 200 new features", with only some shown? Voice features was probably one of the things NOT shown, and only for iP5.

Of course when the new phone comes out it activates some previously unshown features in the OS.

Did anyone notice there was no widgets?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lanspawlo Avatar
133 months ago
I noticed in one of the slides yesterday with the other features of iOS 5 was "Option to speak text selection". Maybe this is proof Apple is improving its speech-to-text capabilities?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
telegram

Bumper Telegram Update Enables Video Calls With Up to 1,000 Viewers

Saturday July 31, 2021 12:13 am PDT by
Telegram Messenger has received a major update to its video capabilities, including support for video calls with up to 1,000 viewers. Group video calls in Telegram allow up to 30 users to stream video from both their camera and their screen, and now a maximum of 1,000 people can tune into the broadcast. Telegram says it intends to continue increasing this limit "until all humans on Earth...
app store blue banner

Elon Musk: Apple's App Store Fees Are a 'De Facto Global Tax on the Internet'

Friday July 30, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to criticize Apple's App Store fees in a tweet that sides with Epic in the ongoing Epic v. Apple dispute. "Epic is right," wrote Musk, before going on to call Apple's App Store fees a "de facto global tax on the Internet." Musk earlier this week made veiled comments about App Store fees, but today's statement is a much more direct criticism....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Top Stories: Face ID on Future Macs, Elon Musk Criticizes Apple, and More

Saturday July 31, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting range of Apple news and rumors, including a blockbuster earnings report, rumors about next year's "iPhone 14" and Face ID coming to Macs, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other popular topics included Apple's crackdown on leaks, changes in the latest round of betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, and several stories...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...