Apple went to great lengths to obscure its speech recognition interface in iOS 5

“Apple’s latest iOS 5 Beta 5 contains the interface elements for their rumored upcoming Speech Recognition features,” Arnold Kim reports for MacRumors. “The screenshot [in the full article] (via 9to5Mac) shows a microphone button found on the standard text keyboard in iOS. Pressing on the microphone button will bring up a microphone speech screen where you presumably start speaking.”

“Apple has long been rumored to be working on an intelligent assistant speech interface to iOS based on their Siri acquisition,” Kim reports. “This latest screenshot shows how the speech recognition can be called up from any standard text entry field… Apple seems to have gone out of its way to keep it hidden from prying eyes.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. I think this is why we are already on the fifth beta of iOS 5 with a rumored late September release date. Apple wants to get the bugs worked out of what has been detailed so far, then have a media event later this month where they reveal the new voice control features and release further betas that focus solely on refining those features. Finally, release the complete iOS 5 to the public in September. Lastly, kick back and smile as Android withers on the vine.

  2. Android is not going to wither on the Google vine. It will prosper as Google’s engineers figure out how to steal that idea too and implement it in Android. The the Koreans will have a similar look and feel interface in all their copy cat products by the end of the week since they do not care about intellectual property.

    Baby Android will continue doing what it does best, ripping off Steve Jobs and company.

    1. I disagree.

      Google has neglected their core business. It’s vulnerable to mobile.

      Android users have shown they don’t buy things (apps, music, even hardware). They’re the ones buying phones at 2-4-1, with base plans and just using voice and txt.

      With voice search, millions of iPhone and iPad users (the most valuable mobile users, and the only growth story in search) will be using Apple’s search tools. This simultaneously hurst Google (revenue-wise, not just their vanity projects like Android and Gmail) and further differentiates Apple.

    2. Android already has this. I have seen it back in January and wished I had it on my iPhone. The mic on the keyboard is even how the android provided the speech transcription service. So really apple copies android on this one.

        1. So basically you are taking that Stance that Android is not a copy of iOS ?

          I mean seriously Android has had some damn nice features that are just now finding their way into iOS with v5.

          It was def more ‘cloud’ based than iOS from the get-go. I’ve never had to plug my Droid into my computer to sync or install anything other than the day when I chose to ‘root’ it.

          1. I said nothing of the sort. I simply said that release date has nothing to do with status of having been copied, or not. That’s what patent dates are for.

    3. They don’t need to steal it, its been in Android for eons already.

      Its OK though I’m sure more than half of everyone here will claim Apple simply made the ‘idea’ better since the lifting of “IP” only goes one way with this crowd. lol.

      1. Android hasn’t been around for eons. Apple has had voice control for a while. I forget when it was first released. Though not as integrated as the Nuance product seems to be, it is still voice control.

        1. I’m not talking about Android having been around, I’m talking about having a button of a mic on a text input keyboard and being able to tap it and start talking.

          I don’t know how well the underlying voice system compares to Siri and really can’t wait to test this on iOS5. I just know that for my needs the one in Android works great and I’ve been using it for a long time now.

  3. Apple needs to go on offense and hit Google where it would really hurt: a new default Apple search engine on all Apple devices that offers breakthrough capabilities.
    My $0.02.

  4. Lets hope Apple doesn’t goof up here in terms of any legal battles – because a icon and its positioning could be come just that. I think Apple will need to impliment this better. For starters – place it above the camera button there!!!! So its more of a service in addition to texting. With the letters of the keypad is actually a bad spot anyways.

    The screenshot from 9to5Mac has a microphone button on the left of the space bar in iOS. This is the same location as in Android. FIX THIS FAST APPLE.

    Vlingo, works also on the iPhone. (its available apparently)
    Siri, is extremely similar but Apple acquired them. So good move there… but now they are asking help from Nuance? Ahhh okay.

    The answer would be for APPLE to BUY OUT Nuance – as they did with Fingerworks.

    No, Bill – pens will not drive computers or phones or tablets.
    And well Steve, maybe touch screens will be gone soon too. Sort of.

    DICK TRACY… voice activated here we come !!!

    1. The microphone button belongs where it is. It’s in the row where you select the type of text input…numbers, language, speech. Putting next to the camera makes no sense when camera isn’t an option. I don’t see this as being a legal issue at all.

    2. Actually that position on the keyboard has always been the place where alternative “inputs” are… So I wou ld venture to guess that Android has copied iOS.

  5. “Apple seems to have gone out of its way to keep it hidden from prying eyes.”

    Right…because putting a *microphone* button on the primary user i/o interface could not possibly mean that you could speak instructions. Way to create a mountain out of a…well, absolutely nothing.

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