Tim Cook Emphasizes Importance of Voice Messaging, Sparking iWatch Speculation

UBS analyst Steve Milunovich recently had a chance to meet up with Tim Cook, as detailed in a new note Milunovich sent to investors on Tuesday (via Fortune). During the meeting, Cook reportedly touched on the subject of voice messaging and based on Cook's comments, Milunovich is predicting a voice messaging app as a key feature of Apple's upcoming iWatch.

"When we visited with Tim Cook, he said that walking down streets in China one sees people speaking into their phones sending voice rather than text messages. Porting this capability to the watch makes sense as it is easier to send a voice message from a device already on the wrist than pulling out a phone. It also could aid penetration of China, which Cook said has a ways to go."

Cook's comments on voice messaging were likely in relation to a new feature built into Messages in iOS 8, which allows users to record and send audio messages. In iOS 8, the Messages app has a new Microphone icon located to the right of the text box, which can be held down to record a quick voice message.

It is not known if Apple has plans to build a similar feature into the iWatch, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. Rumors have previously suggested Siri's voice-recognition capabilities might play an important role on the device given its limited screen size, and voice messages may be another natural fit.

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Apple's iWatch is said to be entering production in the near future, in preparation for a possible October launch. The device, which is expected to run a version of iOS 8, is believed to be reliant on existing iOS devices for some of its core Phone and Messages functionality. Current rumors suggest it may have multiple screen sizes up to 2.5-inches in size, a range of health-related sensors, and a multitude of designs to suit different fashion tastes.

Top Rated Comments

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80 months ago
Tim Cook farted Wednesday afternoon, sparking 14 new apple rumors. Analysts are now saying that Apple is doomed, but someone familiar with the matter told the WSJ that it's Google who should be worried.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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80 months ago
So what you're saying is that tomorrow Samsung announces its Galaxy Gear IV Voice Message model?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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80 months ago
Voice messaging isn't going to catch on, it's just too awkward. People already do everything possible to avoid calling someone. Unless its urgent, messaging will be relegated to texts.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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80 months ago

So what you're saying is that tomorrow Samsung announces its Galaxy Gear IV Voice Message model?


Somehow this comment has gotten more tired than Safari is snappier, congrats
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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80 months ago
Apple announced 22 new dictation languages at WWDC14. I think it's pretty clear where this is going.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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80 months ago
I thought of this as soon as I saw the round interface for the feature in iOS 8. I imagine the iWatch being similar, with perhaps different swipe gestures activating various interface elements.

As for why people in China are using voice messaging: Have you seen their language? Yeah. I'd rather voice message too.

I actually think voice messaging makes more sense than texting but won't ever fully replace it. The voice has inflection (no more misinterpreting a period at the end of a sentence (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115726/period-our-simplest-punctuation-mark-has-become-sign-anger)). A short message has the benefit of a text in that you don't get sucked into a conversation that would take more time, yet is less private in that other people can hear you talking out loud. But it's also easier to execute while multitasking. I think that each will have their place in our daily routine.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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