What exactly are Apple and Nuance Communications up to? Some believe Apple will soon announce its acquisition of the speech recognition company. Others believe a simple partnership is in the works to bring superior voice recognition attributes to future iOS upgrades. Although we don't know precisely what's going on between these two... we do know that something is going on.
Late last year, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak set off a media firestorm with an "accidental" and "inaccurate" slip of the tongue - a slip that revealed Apple had purchased Nuance. After Woz retracted the comment, the rumor mill quieted. But it never fully died down. In fact, just this week, it picked up yet again.
According to sources speaking with TechCrunch, an acquisition of Nuance is unlikely, given its hefty worth ($6 billion and counting). What is far more probable is a "partnership that will be vital to both companies and could shape the future of iOS." If a deal truly is pending, there's a good chance we'll find out about it next month at Apple's WWDC.
Nuance's technology is already used to drive personal assistant software from Siri, a company purchased by Apple last year. Apple has also been said to be preparing to bring a substantial integration of Siri's artificial intelligence and voice control capabilities into iOS 5 presumably set for release later this year.