Voice-to-text feature very likely in iOS 5

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011 16:25pm

New information has lent credence to the rumours that Apple and software developers Nuance are partnering to provide voice-to-text in the upcoming release of iOS 5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Apple user blog 9to5mac received screenshots of IOS 5 beta from a reliable source that show a microphone icon situated to the right of the space key on the onscreen keyboard. Once the microphone key is pressed, the onscreen keyboard will be replaced with a large microphone icon. When you finish talking, the text will appear in the text field.

Development company Nuance already has two free iPhone applications available, Dragon Dictate and Dragon Search. Dragon Dictate is a stand-alone third-party app that converts your speech into text. The app allows you to send your text directly via email or SMS, or you can copy it to the clipboard and then paste it into any application. Dragon Search allows the user to search the Internet using their voice. The integrated voice-to-text would make it a lot easier for users to use these features.

Apple currently has only limited voice-to-text features inbuilt into its devices. This advancement, if it comes to fruition, will greatly enhance the accessibility for users who are blind or vision impaired.

There is some question over whether this feature will be available on all iOS devices – 9to5mac’s source says that it is only planned for the iPhone and iPod touch. We’ll have to wait and see.

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