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  • iPhone 5's Killer Feature May Be 'Assistant'



    Apple’s Assistant—if the reports are true—could be an enormous leap forward in voice control and the must have feature of the upcoming iPhone.

    Assistant uses Nuance’s voice recognition technology in more ways than the previously reported voice-to-text function added to iOS 5’s keyboard. Assistant is a cross program voice control platform allowing users to handle a bevy of tasks by simply speaking.

    9to5Mac dumped a truckload of information from an unnamed source explaining all the abilities of Assistant. First, Assistant will only be available on the iPhone 5/4S. Apparently Assistant requires the power of the new iPhone's A5 processor and 1GB of ram to work. The iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3G just wont cut it. Or Apple doesn't want them to cut it, and give consumers another reason to upgrade. However, it is unclear if the increased ram is necessary and the iPad 2 will miss out on Assistant.

    Rummaging through the rest of the supposed details 9to5Mac was given paints a picture of an incredibly effective, and powerful feature. Assistant is activatd by holding down the home button for a few seconds, and the feature even works from the lock screen. The number of commands seem infinite, but a few examples show just how intuitive and smart Assistant is. Users can simply say “make appointment with [insert name] for 10:00 p.m. on Thursday,” and assistant will create an appointment in that user’s calendar. The obvious integration is with Maps and getting places. Users need only ask their phone “How do I get to [insert place],” and Assistant will use the phone’s current location to map the corresponding route.

    While these are very simple speak and create functions, Assistant has a conversation component as well. Assistant will be able to speak back and forth with users, albeit in a limited capacity. If a user says “set up a meeting with [insert name]” Assistant will promptly ask “which email address should [insert name] be notified at, work or personal?” All of the back and forth conversation appears as text bubbles in the conversation thread on the Assistant screen.

    The coolest integration though is with the Wolfram Alpha online computer knowledge system. Users can literally ask assistant how many meters are in a mile, a math problem or any other bit of information and get a spoken response from Assistant. Also, the rumored "Find My Friends" feature of iOS 5 takes full advantage of Assistant. You literally can ask "Where is Tim?" and Assistant will find Tim, given he has the right privacy settings activated on his iPhone.

    If Assistant works as well as reported in 9to5Mac’s story the next generation iPhone might be a must-have even if there isn’t a considerable design change.

    Source: 9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone 5's Killer Feature May Be 'Assistant' started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. Greatbiguns's Avatar
      Greatbiguns -
      If Assistant is all people are saying it is, WOOOOOOO
      That is going to be an AWESOME edition, can't wait to see if it is true
    1. matrixhunter's Avatar
      matrixhunter -
      *** ******* dammit i have an iphone 4 and an ipad 2 i guess im going to miss out on this feature FML
    1. indyracer05's Avatar
      indyracer05 -
      Personally, I think the voice operate ring feature is cool but for sure not THAT great, it doesnt really do anything significant enough... Voice control (yayyy...)
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by matrixhunter View Post
      *** ****** dammit i have an iphone 4 and an ipad 2 i guess im going to miss out on this feature FML
      I really hope Assistant is available on the iPad 2. It'd be unfortunate if Apple completely ignored a device that wont likely be updated for another year for its entire lifespan. I'm willing to be the iPad 2 works with Assistant and the caveat to get it working isn't the 1GB of ram, rather the A5 processor.
    1. indyracer05's Avatar
      indyracer05 -
      To add to that there are RARELY any situations where it would be appropriate to talk out loud to control your device... That's why texting was created. I would find it annoying if someone was using voice control in school, work, the car, bus, ect
    1. matrixhunter's Avatar
      matrixhunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      I really hope Assistant is available on the iPad 2. It'd be unfortunate if Apple completely ignored a device that wont likely be updated for another year for its entire lifespan. I'm willing to be the iPad 2 works with Assistant and the caveat to get it working isn't the 1GB of ram, rather the A5 processor.
      But i need the feature for my iphone 4 so when i drive i can send a text message via voice
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Impressive feature. Really looking forward to it....especially for the appointments.
    1. Greatbiguns's Avatar
      Greatbiguns -
      Quote Originally Posted by matrixhunter View Post
      But i need the feature for my iphone 4 so when i drive i can send a text message via voice
      I second that, driving and texting- this would be so handy!! Same with emails... Figure it out Apple!!
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by matrixhunter View Post
      But i need the feature for my iphone 4 so when i drive i can send a text message via voice
      Then get Vlingo. It's used across all platforms. It's v-control for almost everything!
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by matrixhunter View Post
      But i need the feature for my iphone 4 so when i drive i can send a text message via voice
      You can do that now.. it's called, making a call. ZOMG!
    1. superman4tqfp's Avatar
      superman4tqfp -
      "iPhone 5's Killer Feature May Be 'Assistant'"

      Don't scare me like that. When I've said to myself "Gee, I hope the new iPhone has....", better voice control has never once been the answer.
    1. matrixhunter's Avatar
      matrixhunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      You can do that now.. it's called, making a call. ZOMG!
      so are you gonna pay for my ticket when i get pulled over for talking on cellphone while driving? i rather just speak to my phone and let it do the job for me
    1. shawn o's Avatar
      shawn o -
      And by Iphone 5 you mean Iphone 4s right? Because thats all there seems to be evidence of at the moment....
    1. Cheesey123's Avatar
      Cheesey123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by matrixhunter View Post
      so are you gonna pay for my ticket when i get pulled over for talking on cellphone while driving? i rather just speak to my phone and let it do the job for me
      He was probably thinking about using a bluetooth headset when making a call
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      I have Vlingo and it's decent but not nearly as intuitive as Assistant seems to be with just using regular everyday speech rather than having to use special speech commands like Vlingo. I could do with an iPhone 4S with the A5 processor, better cameras, more RAM, and an amazing new iOS 5. The same shape and size wouldn't be a bad thing in my opinion.
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      I assume there will be a tweak or something enabling this Assistant character to work on older iPhones....kinda like having the option to enable multitasking on an iPhone 3G during the jailbreak process.
    1. Raeki's Avatar
      Raeki -
      While voice recognition is cool... it's not one of those things I really care about or use. Personally, speaking and enunciating everything to my phone seems a little awkward especially if you're use to typing quickly and such. I'd also feel like quite an idiot... just my couple of cents.
    1. matrixhunter's Avatar
      matrixhunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cheesey123 View Post
      He was probably thinking about using a bluetooth headset when making a call
      lol whoops sorry
    1. PlatoTheForms's Avatar
      PlatoTheForms -
      Windows phone 7 mango has a nice feature like this and it will be available for their current phones...why shoiuld this require 1gig of ram VoiceControl in cydia does some of these things already. Bad form from Apple to not implement this in the iphone 4, although this is just a rumor and the 4 might actually sport this feature
    1. Spaceman1701's Avatar
      Spaceman1701 -
      oh please. cause the voice control that Idevices have now works oh so great.. I wont hold my breath. and i defintely wont upgrade for something as lame as this. I am so sick of Apple screwing its past customers with new things for the new idevices and then snubbing their noses at past customers.
      Dont get me wrong, I love my IP4 and my IPad 2, but Apple seems to be falling behind in the technology curve. They wanna impress me.........Make it possible to make calls from my IPad 2 and we will talk, lol.