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

By on July 25, 2011 at 2:51 PM.

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. More →

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‘iPhone nano’ rumors resurface, now accompanied by mockups

By on February 14, 2011 at 9:57 AM.

‘iPhone nano’ rumors resurface, now accompanied by mockups

As long as we’ve heard rumors of a Verizon iPhone, we’ve also heard rumors that a lighter, smaller, cheaper iPhone was in the works behind closed doors in Cupertino. Sticking to the theme of constantly rehashing rumors until they come true, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Apple is indeed working on a bite-sized iPhone that will soon become a reality. Codenamed “N97,” the new iPhone will be half the size of the current model and could be available for as little as $49 on contract. It may include a “voice navigation” feature as well, providing a more flushed-out catalog of voice commands. We’re also starting to see a variety of designers issue mockups of the device, which would certainly shake up the mobile industry and spell further trouble for Apple’s competition. If The Journal’s report is accurate, however, the mockups we’ve seen thus far are likely way off base considering the rumored new iPhone model is said to feature a screen that “goes to all of the edges” of the phone. Finally, it is worth noting that an iPhone of this size would likely have to do away with the iPhone’s current home button configuration, a sentiment in line with our exclusive report from last month. More →

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Google Maps Navigation arrives in Canada, 11 European countries

By on June 9, 2010 at 11:00 AM.

Google Maps Navigation arrives in Canada, 11 European countries

google-maps-navigation

Good news for Android users situated in Canada and and 11 Western European nations, as today Google announced the immediate availability of its free Google Maps Navigation application in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. To get Google Maps Navigation 4.2 you’ll need to live in the aforementioned countries and have an Android phone running 1.6 and up. Also announced by Google was the addition of support for French, German, Italian and Spanish for Google Voice Search. This update applies not only to Android, but BlackBerry and iPhone as well. No update to the application is needed to gain support for the additional languages, but if you’re the paranoid type you can grab the app at m.google.com or the iTunes App Store. More →

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