Nuance speech-to-text built into iOS 5 rumor

This is one of the reasons I love beta builds. No matter how much Apple tries to hide or disguise something, if a developer digs deep enough, he or she will always uncover a hidden feature or two. First it was further social network integration, and now it’s the inclusion of Nuance’s speech recognition software.

Admittedly, this information was a bit more difficult to come by than the normal leak. This is because it isn’t something available in the standard beta for iOS 5 – it only appears in Apple’s internal iOS 5 build.

These types of betas are usually used for field-testing by Apple employees and certain developers who must have earned Jobs’ trust in some way. But, the added layer of secrecy only adds more intrigue to the story!

The partnership between Apple and Nuance (the guys behind the Dragon Dictation speech-to-text app) has long been rumored, but this seems to confirm it. Leaked screen shots reveal keyboard settings for enabling Nuance as well as selecting a keyboard shortcut to activate the feature.

It appears that one can either have a small microphone button in the text box or on the keyboard (where have I seen that before?), or hold the space bar to activate the service.

Nuance speech-to-text built into iOS 5

I’m not sure why this didn’t make the June 6 keynote, but it’s rumored that Apple will announce this newest feature in the fall when they announce the next iPhone.

I, for one, can not wait for this feature. Apple’s current system of voice recognition leaves much to be desired. And Dragon Dictation is great, but there’s only so much you can do with it as a standalone app.

Integration directly into iOS (like we’ve seen with Twitter) will bring a whole new level of functionality to the service, while simplifying the usage of it. In other words, it’ll just work.

Are you guys as pumped for this feature as I am? If this is anything like Android’s system-wide speech-to-text feature (and I suspect it is), it’ll be hot. Let me know your opinions in the comments section below

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