Apple Went to Great Lengths to Obscure its Speech Recognition Interface in iOS 5

Apple's latest iOS 5 Beta 5 contains the interface elements for their rumored upcoming Speech Recognition features. The screenshot below (via 9to5Mac) shows a microphone button found on the standard text keyboard in iOS. Pressing on the microphone button will bring up a microphone speech screen where you presumably start speaking.

Apple has long been rumored to be working on an intelligent assistant speech interface to iOS based on their Siri acquisition. This latest screenshot shows how the speech recognition can be called up from any standard text entry field.

mic
We've confirmed that the above interface does exist (in dormant form) in the latest iOS 5 beta 5. Once activated, however, the speech interface isn't yet functional. Apple hasn't included all the pieces required to enable the speech recognition. Apple has been said to be in negotiations with Nuance to power the upcoming speech recognition technology in iOS 5.

But perhaps more interesting is that that Apple seems to have gone out of its way to keep it hidden from prying eyes. 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.

Top Rated Comments

addicted44 Avatar
132 months ago
It's about time they finally copied all these features from Android. I wonder if they held off because they didn't want it to look like they copied from anyone else. I say, who cares! If there is something good already out there, copy it!

Note how Apple actually paid money to purchase Siri, and is holding negotiations to licence Nuance's technology.

THAT is how a mature company behaves. When they use someone else's ideas, and technologies, they pay for it.

Google simply goes ahead and steals it.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apttap Avatar
132 months ago
I hope it actually works.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
delonh92 Avatar
132 months ago
This hiding kind of sucks and it's all due to developers who leak info from the private beta. I wish Apple could seriously go after every single one that leaks these things. You signed an NDA, for god's sake :(

That little rant aside: yay for voice recognition, if it works well :D

I wonder, you are saying NDA should be enforced. But you and i and many others Read a site that is named Macrumors....:rolleyes:
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coder12 Avatar
132 months ago
What I hope is that they integrate it into Voice Control and add a lot more commands. Right now it doesn't even understand "play podcast ..." That's just plain pathetic.

Even worse is that it fails to comprehend, "Make me a sandwich!" :(
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menge Avatar
132 months ago
This hiding kind of sucks and it's all due to developers who leak info from the private beta. I wish Apple could seriously go after every single one that leaks these things. You signed an NDA, for god's sake :(

That little rant aside: yay for voice recognition, if it works well :D
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QuarterSwede Avatar
132 months ago
ISO iis just getting speech recognition? Androids had this forever.
…What?
Let me translate:

"iOS is just getting speech recognition? Android has had this for forever."
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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