The advent of iOS5 is growing near, and the features we’ll be receiving in the big-time update will include a next-generation “Assistant” for the next-generation iPhone (whatever shape it may take when it arrives). The Assistant is a voice-activated feature that incorporates Nuance/Siri-powered technology and enables users to do all sorts of things by voice alone, including complex scheduling, reminders and task lists.
For instance, tell (as in, with your voice) your iPhone that you need to pick up milk at the market and you would like a reminder once you get there. Thanks to iOS5’s ability to understand your voice and to determine where you are, you’ll receive the reminder once you walk through Wegman’s front door.
MacRumors has a neat little piece on the feature and this really interesting blurb from… well… they don’t actually say where.[quote]The system will actually speak back and forth with the user to gain the most information in order to provide the best results. The user essentially can hold a conversation with their iPhone like it is another human being. For example, if a user is making a meeting with me, they will say “setup meeting with Mark” and the first “bubble” of the conversation thread will say that. After that, the system will speak back: “which e-mail address should Mark be notified at, work or personal?” This question will both be spoken out loud by the iPhone Assistant and shown as a new “bubble” in the conversation thread. The user will then respond with the email address they want to notify me at, and the appointment will be made. The iPhone will even show a quick glance at a calendar view to confirm the appointment. If the Assistant was sending an SMS, as another example, a mini SMS view would appear so the user has a quick glance at the SMS thread.[/quote]
There’s no official release date for iOS5 but, with an Apple event to be held on the Apple campus on October 4th, I’d be willing to bet we’ll see it drop there along with new iPhones and OS X 10.7.2.