iPhone 5's Best New Feature May Not Be the Hardware

iPhone 5's Best New Feature May Not Be the Hardware

Gregory Han
Sep 26, 2011

Even with a couple of Apple employed buddies on our friends list, "mums" the word when it comes to hard details about what will be coming out Cupertino in the next few days. Some of the predictions out there seem consistent across the board (dual-core A5 processor, 8 megapixel camera, upgraded onboard RAM), while others reek of "throwing it to see if it sticks" category. The latest news making the rounds is notable for the fact it isn't about what the iPhone 5 will look like, but how it will differ in how it operates...

9to5Mac.com is reporting Apple's upcoming iPhone 5's feature won't be the predicted hardware revision, inside and out, but a software system-wide voice navigation system feature called Assistant, which provides users hands-free question and answer interaction with your device. In theory, the idea is to incorporate more "smart" into smartphones:

One of the key elements of Assistant is the conversation view. 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.

Also integrated is a database of computational/conversion information, ready to tap into with voice queries. So for example, if one wanted to know a metric conversion or a quick mathematical solution, the iPhone 5's built-in Assistant can quickly return an answer utilizing an additional application or search feature. Whether these features in practice work as smoothly as predicted is still yet to be seen, despite voice recognition being touted for years as "the future is now feature" has still seen stumbling blocks in real world application.

More details about the iPhone 5's Assistant over at "The new iPhone..."

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