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 Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)
Related Forums: iPhone, iPod touch and iPod, iPad

Top Rated Comments

Blackforge Avatar
152 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
152 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
152 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
152 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
152 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
152 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)

Popular Stories

iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
top stories 28jan2023

Top Stories: iOS 16.3 Released, iPhone 15 Pro Rumors, macOS Tips and Tricks, and More

Saturday January 28, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Following last week's hardware announcements, this week saw the actual release of several of the new products as well as operating system updates bringing new features and bug fixes across Apple's platforms. This week also saw some fresh rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, while we shared some tips to help you get the most of your macOS experience, so read...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
iPhone 15 General Mock Feature

Kuo: iPhone 15 Models to Adopt Wi-Fi 6E

Thursday January 26, 2023 5:09 pm PST by
The upcoming iPhone 15 models that are set to be introduced later in 2023 will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note about Apple's work on a Wi-Fi chip, Kuo said that the company will upgrade the iPhone 15 to Wi-Fi 6E. Apple is already using Wi-Fi 6E for the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models introduced last year, along with the new Mac mini and...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...