We’ve heard rumors that Apple will a include Siri-powered “Assistant” voice command option ahead of the official iOS 5 launch, and now 9to5Mac has learned that Apple will also add Nuance-powered speech-to-text functionality. As the screenshots show, users will simply need to tap the microphone button next to the space bar in order to activate the feature. When active, a larger microphone image will pop up to alert the user to begin speaking. The functionality is similar to what’s already available on Android smartphones and we hope it performs just as well. Hopefully we’ll see text-to-speech implemented in an upcoming iOS 5 beta build, otherwise we’ll have to wait until September when the official public release hits. Read on for a second screen shot. More →
Citing a source claimed to be reliable, tech blogger Robert Scoble says enhanced voice commands will be included in iOS 5 when it launches this fall. Apple acquired Siri last year, presumably with the intention of enhancing the lackluster voice command support found in iOS. It has been rumored for quite some time that Apple would be making enhanced voice commands a major part of iOS 5, but Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote came and went with no mention of voice commands. Scoble claims that his source — one who spoke accurately of the deep Twitter integration Apple showed off on Monday weeks ahead of WWDC — said Apple’s voice command integration wasn’t ready to show off at the show. The feature will be a part of iOS 5, however, and will perhaps be unveiled this fall when Apple is expected to announce its next-generation iPhone. More →
This… is awesome. Google on Wednesday announced a new version of its Google Translate app for Android devices. There are several changes in the new build, but one in particular has the Internet buzzing — and rightfully so. The app now features a Conversation Mode that will record speech and quickly translate it into a language of your choosing. Meaning, should you find yourself abroad, a local can speak his or her native tongue and your Android phone will translate for you in real-time. What’s more, you can speak your response in your own native language and the Google Translate app will translate your words into the target language and read them aloud to your new friend. This new version of Google Translate is available in the Android Market immediately for devices running Android 2.1 and above. And, of course, it’s free. Hit the break for a video of Googlers demonstrating the feature on stage a few months ago, and another up close and personal video demo from a user. More →
On a brisk day in October almost a year ago, Google announced Android 2.0 alongside the Motorola DROID. On that same day, satellite navigation companies like Garmin and TomTom saw their stock prices deflate faster than Yankees fans’ spirits in the sixth inning last night. This was no coincidence. With Android 2.0, Google announced the addition of free satellite-guided turn-by-turn navigation to its popular Google Maps service. Garmin and TomTom both saw mobile as a big part of their futures, and here Google was breaking the space wide open. How can paid services possibly compete?
Netherlands-based navigation giant TomTom found at least one possible answer to that question this morning when it announced a new partnership with HTC. It is becoming increasingly difficult to sell smartphone-based navigation products directly to consumers, so the key is to get manufacturers and carriers to pay for these solutions — and to pay for new solutions that utilize the current Location Based Services (LBS) craze. TomTom, after all, provides much more functional and polished mobile navigation solutions than Google ever will.
The new deal announced this morning places TomTom’s maps in HTC’s new integrated navigation solution, HTC Locations, which HTC calls a “zero-wait navigation experience”. The service will initially be available on the HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z, and only in Europe and Asia. HTC Locations will expand to new devices and regions, though no further release schedule was provided.
The catch? HTC Locations will be free to end users, along with some basic functionality. Turn-by-turn navigation, however, will be a premium paid add-on, making it a much less appealing option than it could have been if HTC ate the expense as a value-add. Unless HTC decides to block Google Maps Navigation from its HTC Locations-equipped devices, we don’t see this new deal going very far at all. Sorry TomTom, looks like you’ll have to reroute your trip yet again. More →
Nuance has just released an updated version of its free Dragon Dictation application for the iPhone and iPad that brings typeless social networking to the iPhone OS and iOS-using masses. In addition to the previous SMS and email support, Dragon Dictation 2.0 now allows you to post to twitter or update your status on Facebook merely by speaking to your mobile device. The latest version also pastes your dictated text directly into the device’s clipboard and can auto-save text when a phone call interrupts your oh-so-important dictation. So Dragon Dictation users, rest those fingers and start talk tweeting… we all know how difficult it is to type 140 characters. More →
Burlington, Mass-based company, Nuance, is bringing its duo of popular speech recognition software to customers in the UK. Nuance’s popular Dragon Search and Dragon Dictation have been submitted to Apple’s App Store and are awaiting approval for distribution in the UK. Both titles are currently available for free in the US and boast of combined downloads that approach 37 million. Dragon Search gives Android’s voice-to-text search a run for its money by providing iPhone owners with the ability to query popular search engines and social networks with their voice. Nuance’s other title, Dragon Dictation, brings dictation capabilities to Apple’s iOS platform and has been very well received. If all goes as expected, the two Nuance software titles should appear in the UK App Store soon. More →
It looks as if Google has some sweet, sweet treats headed to those who are going to be left out of the Sense UI game as the company has released the code for Donut to developers. Apparently designed to work on all existing devices (read G1 and Magic), Donut will include such lusted after features including but not limited to multi-touch support, universal search, text-to-speech, automated backups and a redesigned camera app. There are also a bunch of new widgets including a much welcome home screen toggle for things Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, screen brightness and more. CDMA radio support looks to be included within Donut under the call settings menu — something not at all surprising considering Sprint’s Dan Hesse has recently been talking about his company’s intentions with Android. One thing to note is that XDA’s cyanogen claims that Donut is not Android 2.0 but is more or less an incremental upgrade to the OS, like Cupcake was. We’re not too sure yet if this is indeed the case but cyanogen is certainly a reliable source. In the words of Ace Ventura, iiiinteresting. Hit the jump for some screenshots.
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