Apple’s Siri-based iOS voice controls dubbed ‘Assistant’

It has been about 15 months since Apple acquired Siri for a reported $200 million, and it looks as though we won’t have to wait much longer to see the deal bear fruit. In line with earlier reports, 9to5 Mac has been sent evidence that Apple will introduce voice controls in iOS 5. At present, the voice control features within iOS are lumped together in a service called “Assistant,” though this is not confirmed to be the launch name. A screenshot said to have come from an iPhone test unit shows a toggle to activate the Assistant service — and old style toggle rather than the slider from the new iOS 5 UI, interestingly — and 9to5 Mac claims to have verified the service by analyzing Apple’s latest iOS 5 SDK. “‘Assistant’ does not work only based on a user’s voice inputs, but Apple will take information – securely – from user’s devices like location, contact’s information, and music metadata to formulate the best information to serve a user’s request,” 9to5 Mac’s Mark Gurman writes. “Since Apple will be taking information such as phone contacts and location, we truly think that ‘Assistant’ will work just like the Siri iPhone application does; but fully integrated into the operating system.” The source of the screenshot says that the feature just went into testing, however, and it may not be ready in time for the initial release of iOS 5 this fall.

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