iPhone 5 to include new Assistant voice control feature?Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
The rumored October 4th debut of the iPhone 5 is getting close and, as is usually the case when the launch of a highly-anticipated new smartphone gets close, the rumor mill is kicking into high(er) gear. Today's tidbit comes from 9to5Mac, which offers up a report containing some purported spec information on Apple's new iPhone as well as details on a new software feature. As far as the specs go, there's not much here that hasn't been mentioned in the past: dual-core A5 processor, 8-megapixel camera with backlit sensor, 1GB RAM, and Qualcomm Gobi baseband chips for GSM/CDMA support. On the software side of things, Apple is reportedly prepping a new system-wide voice control system called Assistant.
Assistant is said to be the result of Apple's purchase of Siri last year and will offer functionality that's a step or two up from Voice Control that's present in iOS now. The app will reportedly allow users to schedule events and reminders, get directions, and create messages using their voice. Additionally, 9to5Mac reports that Assistant will feature a conversation view in which the iPhone will ask for more details about the task a user wants to complete, like which of a person's email addresses should be selected as the recipient of a message. Other features of Assistant are said to include "Find my friends," which will allow users to, you guessed it, find their friends (privacy settings for this feature can be changed), as well as Wolfram Alpha integration to help users get answers to factual questions. Assistant will reportedly only be available to the iPhone 5 due to its processor/RAM requirements.
As mentioned before, iOS has had a voice navigation system in place for a while with Voice Control, but its capabilities are somewhat limited, especially compared to something like Voice Actions on Android. Assistant sounds like it'll change that, although I'd be lying if I said it's not a disappointment that the app isn't available for iPhone 4 owners. What do all of you make of Assistant? Would the app as described help convince you to pull the trigger on a shiny new iPhone?