Mockup of iOS 5’s Rumored Assistant Feature

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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.

Google Launches Blogger App for iOS

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Google has today announced a Blogger app for iPhone and iPod touch devices. The app will allow you to write and publish right from your iOS devices and is available immediately for free. Though quite orange, the interface is clean and native-looking, and it allows publishing, drafting and editing of blog posts while on the go. This is the first time that it has been released on the iOS platform, although there has been an Android version available for some time.

The app allows you to publish from multiple Blogger accounts, post images from the gallery or the camera and label your blog posts. The app doesn’t offer a full-fledged blog post editor  but there is also support for tagging a post with a location. You can save your posts as drafts or publish them immediately and browse the list of drafts and posts in your archive. . Its features are comparable to the Android app, which went live in February.

 

Google has been rearranging things at Blogger in the wake of the Google Plus launch, and this release is a signal that fears that the popular blogging service would be phased out are unfounded. Instead, it looks like Google is going for better integration of Blogger as a sharing option. In April, Google launched a major overhaul of Blogger’s Web interface and features, so it would seem that the product is alive and well.

The app seems to stick to the Google ‘less is more’ aesthetic, with a two-tone orangesickle interface. You also can’t do much more than write and publish. No formatting, no image adjustment, not even a choice of fonts or even a button to add a link. It seems incredibly bare-bones at this point. There are a dozen other alternatives that offer more features on the App Store.

There have been other apps for iOS that allow publishing to Blogger, like BlogPress, but this is the first official one.

1 Million Android And iOS Apps Have Ready To published

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Now more than 1 million apps published to the Apple App Store and Android Market combined,Announced by AppsFire today.

The company reports that more than 60 apps have been downloaded for every iOS device sold. That’s up from 10 apps downloaded for every iPhone/iPod touch in 2008, says Asmyco. So how did the firm get to that number? As the Apple App Store approaches 10 billion total downloads, App downloads are increasing at a faster rate that iTunes music downloads (of course, not all iTunes users are getting their music from iTunes).

The company is quick to point out that not all of those apps are active (downloadable), with the total number of active applications sitting at around 80%. Of the combined number of apps published to either the App Store or Android Market, iOS accounts for 52% (roughly 520,000 apps) of the million titles published.

Android Market tracker AppBrain puts the total number of Android applications at 282,830 – not quite mirroring the 52%/48% split noted by AppsFire, but with Google actively pruning its app database every quarter, the number of deleted or banned apps could increment the app count substantially.

The company looks forward to tracking 1 million live apps combined on iOS and Android, then 1 million apps by operating system.

AppsFire tracks each app entering either the App Store or Android Market, using algorithms and friend recommendations to suggest apps that smartphone owners might be interested in.

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