When the new iPhone is finally unveiled at the just-announced "Let's Talk iPhone" media event scheduled for October 4th, there's no doubt that it will already have a massive amount of excitement and buzz surrounding it. People want the new iPhone. Those iPhone 4s and (god-forbid) iPhone 3Gs might as well be Motorola RAZRs sitting in people's pockets.
But how much of a "game changer" will the new iPhone really be? What will the much-anticipated phone bring to the table that will position itself as a true "next-gen" device?
For many, it's the new voice control platform called "Assistant" that everyone has been talking about for the past few days.
The leaked reports trickling out of the Apple fountain suggest that iOS 5 on the iPhone 5 is going to come with a new voice control platform that is more than just a feature - but the predominant way that users will interact with the new phone. Details about the "Assistant" system have emerged, and they sound quite interesting.
Basically, Assistant is said to be voice control that really works. Seamless appointment scheduling, text messaging and even search - simply through the power of your voice. Not only will Assistant understand what you say, but it is apparently intuitive. That's right, according to reports, you can expect to have a little conversation with your new iPhone from time to time when it needs to specify a command that you give it. "Tell Jim I'm going to be late to the meeting," you say. Assistant might ask, "Should I notify his work or personal email?"
For more on those expected features, check here.
Could this technology be the main new thing about the iPhone 5 - the game changer? In my opinion, this voice control platform is more important than all the other rumored features - the 8 megapixel camera, faster processor, even all of the slick redesigns that people are hoping for.
Long-time Apple follower and investor Jason Schwarz says that this part of the new iPhone is "the most significant upgrade to the Apple ecosystem since the initial launch of the product back in 2007." No wonder that the invitation to the October 4th event said "Let's Talk iPhone." As many across the internet pointed out, that phrase could easily be interpreted "Let's talk, iPhone."
Schwarz continues to talk about the amazing new user interface -
At the original iPhone event in January 2007, Steve Jobs stated, 'We are all born with the ultimate pointing device-our fingers-and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse." Well, I would add that we're also born with the ultimate communication tool-our voice-and iPhone is about to create the most revolutionary user interface in the history of technology. I expect that this voice assistant will quickly make its way into laptops and desktops as well. Apple's competitive advantage is widening by the day.
If Schwarz and the details prove correct, the Siri voice "Assistant" integrated into iOS 5 could change the way people interact with mobile technology. Love Apple or hate Apple, iPhone user or not, you have to admit that this is a big deal. It might not dominate the game, but it will sure as hell change it.
What do you think about a voice-based user interface in the upcoming iPhone? Let us know in the comments.