Apple & Nuance: A Tale Told on Gear Diary … in June 2010!

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Apple & Nuance: A Tale Told on Gear Diary ... in June 2010!

If you check the various tech blogs and news feeds today you are likely to find stuff about talks between Apple and Nuance to bring speech recognition to iOS for the iPhone 5. These are all based on a report from TechCrunch and “sources”. In other words, this article is the stuff of rumors… for now.

The article recounts Steve Wozniak saying Apple had bought Nuance last November, which was seen as a great idea … but ultimately false and supposedly based on Siri, a company Apple actually DID buy.

And yet it goes back even further – because early last June Dan wrote an article called “Dear Apple and Nuance, You’ve Been Dating Long Enough… Time To Get Hitched”

How prescient was Dan? Let’s take a look:

Now imagine if Dragon Dictation was incorporated into the entire OS of the iPhone. You start up your e-mail application to either write a new message or respond to an old message and when the keyboard comes up you can either start typing or tap the microphone button and start speaking. The same would happen if you were, for example, using Pages on the iPad. You would have the choice of typing on the keyboard or tapping the microphone button, activating the Dragon Dictation engine and start speaking.

Such an integration would make creating text on the iPhone and iPad easier than ever and would help ensure that they be seen as “productivity devices” rather than “consumption devices”. T-Mobile just did exactly this with the MyTouch 3G Slide and while I have not had a chance to try it something tells me it works a whole lot better than the voice recognition process on the Nexus One. Apple should do the same thing with the next generation of OS iPhone. It would make a world of difference.

No, I don’t expect we’ll see such a thing any time soon but if we did… I truly believe that this would be one amazing way for Apple to move the OS iPhone platform forward. Yes, a marriage between the best voice recognition technology on the market and the best mobile operating system available would be amazing. Sadly something tells me that they are simply going to continue dating… at least for now.

Dan saw what Google had done with voice commands in Android, and the speech-to-text capabilities in Google Voice – but found them lacking. He made his thoughts clear, saying “I want to see Nuance’s voice recognition engine built into OS iPhone”. Wow … just wow.

He even did a comparison of speaking a paragraph of his article and having Google and Dragon translate it:

Original:

I’ve never had much luck as a matchmaker. In fact I am perfectly horrible at it. Still, this is one time when I am pretty sure that a marriage ought to take place. That’s right, I think it is time for Apple and Nuance to start getting serious about one another. Sure, Nuance now owns MacSpeech Dictate and Scribe which run on OS X. And yes, Nuance’s Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search work beautifully on the iPhone and iPad. But that’s just dating. I want to see them take the next step.

And what is that next step? I want to see Nuance’s voice recognition engine built into OS iPhone. And here’s why…

Google Voice:

I have never had much luck as a match maker period. In fact, I am perfectly horrible at it. 38 still come. This is one time when I’m pretty sure that a marriage ought to take place. Period. That’s right, comma, I think it is time for Apple and he wants to start getting serious about one another period sure comma new wants now owns Mac speech dictate and scribes which run on O S X period. And yes, comma, Nuances track indication and rack and search working beautifully on the iPhone and I’ve at period, but that’s just dating period. I want to see them. Take the next step period and what is that next step question mark. I want to see nuances voice recognition Engineer built into O S iPhone period and here’s why. Dash.

Nuance’s Dragon Dictation:

I have never had much luck as a matchmaker. In fact I am perfectly horrible at it. Still, this is one time when I am pretty sure that he marriage ought to take place. That’s right, I think it is time for Apple and Nuance to start getting serious about one another. Sure, Nuance now owns Mac speech dictate and scribe which run on OSx. And yes, nuances dragon dictation and Dragon search work beautifully on the iPhone and iPod. But that’s just dating. I want to see them take the next step. And what is the next step? I want to see if Nuance’s voice recognition engine built into OS iPhone. And here’s why –

But as Dan said, Nuance’s apps are in a silo thanks to Apple’s policies on apps interacting- they act alone and leave the rest of the system to look on in envy. Hopefully now Apple will bring that level of quality voice-to-text translation to the entire operating system. We can only hope!

Source: Right here.

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!