Mockup of iOS 5’s Rumored Assistant Feature

Apple has been rumored to be working on advanced speech recognition technology for some time.


After Apple’s acquisition of Siri, TechCrunch reported in May that negotiations were ongoing with Nuance to integrate their speech recognition technology into iOS. Earlier this week, 9to5mac detailed much of what is expected to be the major new feature in the next generation iPhone to be release on October 4th. The story was met with some skepticism in our forums.

The Assistant function is activated by a long press on the home button. You can then give it voice commands with actions attached that can launch apps and fill in text. Much of this functionality is present in the Siri app, which Apple bought earlier this year.If this functionality is integrated at the system level, it would be much more powerful than any standalone app.

We’ve created this artist rendition (above) of what the Assistant interface looks like based on sources with knowledge of the feature. After a long press on the home button, the screen fades and slides up, just like with the multitasking interface. Revealed is a silver icon with an animated orbiting purple flare which indicates a ready state.

Assistant takes this and combines it with system-wide access to apps and functions of iOS that makes its potential so much more exciting. This video was produced by Jan Michael Cart, who made this lovely iMessage-on-Mac video. It was based on detailed descriptions of the way that Assistant will work.

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