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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. ForumSnoBorderRK's Avatar
      ForumSnoBorderRK -
      "Assistant" is not going to be iPhone 5's killer feature. Its not a killer feature at all. Its pretty cool but it is absolutely not something apple would base their entire product around (i.e. what a killer feature is).i dont get why some people freak out over assistant so much. its going to be a lightly used feature (that will likely fade) in the iphone 5 that the android kind of already has.
    1. that_girl's Avatar
      that_girl -
      Not impressed. Apple, if you want me to buy the iPhone 5, it must be 64 GB.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Spaceman1701 View Post
      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.
      You're one of those people who's never happy no matter what Apple does. You probably complained when Apple didn't allow multitasking on the iPhone 3G and at the same time complain how slow it is when you jailbreak it and add multitasking. Apple has spoiled people by adding backwards compatibility on their devices and they are WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to this than Android or any other phone manufacturer. If you buy a Samsung or HTC phone with Android you'd be lucky to get an update 6 months after Google releases it if anything at all. Apple doesn't want to provide a feature on a phone that won't give customers a perfect user experience... it's not always just to force people to upgrade. They learned their lesson when they allowed the iPhone 3G to have iOS 4 then got slapped with a class action law suite because the hardware couldn't handle it. I would much rather Apple withhold a feature for me that's not equipped to run on specific hardware then have it run like complete crap.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I'm skeptical. Voice recognition has NEVER worked well in the past. With anything. How many times have you tried voice recognition and you had to shout at your device like a retarded robot? I hate that.

      Wake me up when I can talk in a natural voice and it computes with 99% accuracy.

      I want "Jarvis" from Iron Man - anything less is just a beta test to get to that point, and only chumps beta test.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jahooba View Post
      I'm skeptical. Voice recognition has NEVER worked well in the past. With anything. How many times have you tried voice recognition and you had to shout at your device like a retarded robot? I hate that.

      Wake me up when I can talk in a natural voice and it computes with 99% accuracy.

      I want "Jarvis" from Iron Man - anything less is just a beta test to get to that point, and only chumps beta test.
      I think that's why they have to license Nuance to make this usable.
    1. buttamix's Avatar
      buttamix -
      Go figure the iPhone 4 can't work with assistance. My upgrade isn't till next year. What else can apple do to the iPhone.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      You're one of those people who's never happy no matter what Apple does. You probably complained when Apple didn't allow multitasking on the iPhone 3G and at the same time complain how slow it is when you jailbreak it and add multitasking. Apple has spoiled people by adding backwards compatibility on their devices and they are WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to this than Android or any other phone manufacturer. If you buy a Samsung or HTC phone with Android you'd be lucky to get an update 6 months after Google releases it if anything at all. Apple doesn't want to provide a feature on a phone that won't give customers a perfect user experience... it's not always just to force people to upgrade. They learned their lesson when they allowed the iPhone 3G to have iOS 4 then got slapped with a class action law suite because the hardware couldn't handle it. I would much rather Apple withhold a feature for me that's not equipped to run on specific hardware then have it run like complete crap.
      There you go again needlessly bashing android. Why? The poster was referring to voice search which android has had for a very long time and implemented very well. As for updates, you are half right. Htc is pretty good. Swing is the slow one. For those who want updates as google releases them there is custom rOms. Cyanogen has vanilla roms out less than a mmonth after google releases them. Why the constant hate man? If android was as inferior as you say it wouldn't be doing nearly as well as it is. There is room on this planet for both operating systems. They are both great and feed off of One another.
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      There you go again needlessly bashing android. Why? The poster was referring to voice search which android has had for a very long time and implemented very well. As for updates, you are half right. Htc is pretty good. Swing is the slow one. For those who want updates as google releases them there is custom rOms. Cyanogen has vanilla roms out less than a mmonth after google releases them. Why the constant hate man? If android was as inferior as you say it wouldn't be doing nearly as well as it is. There is room on this planet for both operating systems. They are both great and feed off of One another.
      Poseidon79 is talking about real updates from Google. Not someone hacked up version of Gingerbread or custom r0ms that are full of bugs. The only phone that can take a direct update from google is the Nexus S phones. Other than that the update release have to go thru the manufacturer and then thru the carriers so they can add there crap to it and then make a official release. To much BS just for a update, another reason why i like the iPhone, regular update to fix bug or add new features without having to wait for other 3rd parties to add there crap to it.
    1. Kinkme93's Avatar
      Kinkme93 -
      Quote Originally Posted by that_girl View Post
      Not impressed. Apple, if you want me to buy the iPhone 5, it must be 64 GB.
      Agree! And a bigger screen Won't hurt . Better be a white one too!
    1. swifty7's Avatar
      swifty7 -
      wouldn't be cool if apple added real time night vision feature to their iphone cameras unlike those fake night vision apps that only simulate that feature.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kinkme93 View Post
      Agree! And a bigger screen Won't hurt . Better be a white one too!
      As I have stated many times before, a 64Gb iPhone is a physical impossibility until someone makes a 64Gb drive - which hasn't happened in any numbers yet. As for a bigger screen, that's something I really DON'T want.

      I'm sure assistant will be limited to the iP5 (I don't believe it will be called the 4S, a faster processor, more memory, better camera and redesigned case make an IP5) because to get a good user experience needs the added firepower.

      The best thing about it is the integration with possibly my favourite app, Wolfram Alpha - almost worth getting just for that....
    1. sewercyde's Avatar
      sewercyde -
      Actually appstore has the target app with this function already in it. Works a treat even on my 8Gb 3G iPhone!!!!! Unfortunately, I don't live in the US so not particularly useful, but the tech works well even with my aussie accent.
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Spaceman1701 View Post
      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.
      Isn't that generally how all technology companies run their business? If they made all the new features available for older hardware, then there wouldn't be a need to customers to upgrade which would result in fewer new products due to declining revenue.

      I realize we're talking about a software update that can be pushed out to older devices, but Apple is a company and they're in the business of making as much money as possible. One of the knocks that the haters use on Apple is that it is so proprietary, but we all knew this when we bought our iDevices. If you're really this angry with their decision, then swap to Android.

      I do remember when Apple released multitasking, but only made it available for the 3GS because they said the 3G didn't have the power to multitask efficiently. I was upset with them, but since I could jailbreak and enable multitasking anyway it wasn't a big deal. It turned out they were right and multitasking made my phone painfully slow. Perhaps they're right this time too.
    1. ManiLeo's Avatar
      ManiLeo -
      I noticed on my iPhone 4 that if my phone is locked with a pass code I can still use my voice control to dial and start up my music player I haven't tried anything else. I hope if this assistant program will fix that,Or if you will still be able to access your phone while it is pass code locked. Especially since this assistant thing does so much I can just imagine my husband going through all my stuff with my phone locked.
    1. Kinkme93's Avatar
      Kinkme93 -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      As for a bigger screen, that's something I really DON'T want...
      Well most ppl want a bigger screen so if you don't want it stay with ur iPhone 4!!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kinkme93 View Post
      Well most ppl want a bigger screen so if you don't want it stay with ur iPhone 4!!
      On what basis do you believe 'most' people want a larger screen. I know many people that have bought Android devices thinking they wanted a larger screen and returned them for an iPhone after realising they are to big to carry and use as a phone.

      My limited research shows the vast majority of people would rather have a smaller device with the same size scren and no more choice of screen sizes makes apps uniform and a far beter end user experience.

      I do not believe that Apples research will have come to different conclusions. If you want a larger screen you can always buy an Android device.
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      I would like a larger screen. I have a samsung galaxy s2 as well and the screen is awesome. If it only ran iOS it would be perfect.
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      As I have stated many times before, a 64Gb iPhone is a physical impossibility until someone makes a 64Gb drive - which hasn't happened in any numbers yet.
      Is a 64Gb iPod a physical impossibility, too?
      Do you think someone will make a 64gb drive that will fit in an iPod eventually?
      Sure, the radio and GPS take up a little more room, but the iPhone's already a bit bulkier and heavier. Would just a wee bit more really hurt that much?
      ....
      I still think the reason the the largest capacity iPhone has *never* reached or exceeded the biggest iPod is marketing, product design and not basic engineering.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      There you go again needlessly bashing android. Why? The poster was referring to voice search which android has had for a very long time and implemented very well. As for updates, you are half right. Htc is pretty good. Swing is the slow one. For those who want updates as google releases them there is custom rOms. Cyanogen has vanilla roms out less than a mmonth after google releases them. Why the constant hate man? If android was as inferior as you say it wouldn't be doing nearly as well as it is. There is room on this planet for both operating systems. They are both great and feed off of One another.
      It's not bashing if it's true. Its also not needless when it proves a valid point. The avg user doesn't want or have the knowledge to search for ROMs to update their device. The only reason Android is putting a dent in Apple market share is because it's being loaded on hundreds of crap hardware trying to compete with 3 models of Apple hardware. Android sells on a lot of devices but where it's actually counts... Profit... Apple kills every other phone manufacture combined by a LONG shot. Apple also wins in customer loyalty.
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      You're one of those people who's never happy no matter what Apple does. You probably complained when Apple didn't allow multitasking on the iPhone 3G and at the same time complain how slow it is when you jailbreak it and add multitasking. Apple has spoiled people by adding backwards compatibility on their devices and they are WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to this than Android or any other phone manufacturer. If you buy a Samsung or HTC phone with Android you'd be lucky to get an update 6 months after Google releases it if anything at all. Apple doesn't want to provide a feature on a phone that won't give customers a perfect user experience... it's not always just to force people to upgrade. They learned their lesson when they allowed the iPhone 3G to have iOS 4 then got slapped with a class action law suite because the hardware couldn't handle it. I would much rather Apple withhold a feature for me that's not equipped to run on specific hardware then have it run like complete crap.
      What does being an inconsolable malingerer have to do with Apple?
      Happiness, unhappiness aren't a function of Apple's (or Google's) business model.
      It's a matter of qualia.
      • Notice that there are autumn leaves falling around you, and that they are pretty.
      • See that the back of your iPhone is shiny, and remember that you like shiny things
      • Read the posts that trolls post, and recognize and value their contribution to the discussion.


      You don't have to be happy.
      You could whine about the mess from all the crap on the ground,
      or at the way your week-old iPhone is already covered in scratches,
      and you can get very annoyed at trolls and give them the what-for.
      ...
      I would myself, prefer that Apple made all the software "features" available on hardware that could physically support it, and allow users to choose their own featureset and their own degree of bugs and sluggishness. But I am happy for the things in this world that are Good, and there are enough things in the world that are Good that have an Apple logo on them that are near me, that I can be happy for their sake, too.