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Apple said talking to Nuance for voice recognition in iOS 5

updated 01:15 am EDT, Sat May 7, 2011

Apple negotiates for Nuance voice command in iOS 5

Word of an Apple deal with Nuance may have gained momentum early Saturday as hints have emerged that a deal is underway. Rather than the previously dismissed buyout, Apple would forge an agreement to bring Nuance's voice recognition system into iOS, most likely iOS 5. While options were open, TechCrunch understood that the determination of Nuance chief Paul Ricci and a high valuation dependent on licenses were likely deterrents to buying Nuance outright.

The system would almost certainly be used to improve the range of commands and the accuracy of voice recognition in iOS 5. Nuance is well known for its Dragon Dictation system and powers the voice systems of many mobile apps, including Apple's recent acquisition Siri.

Apple was already known to be recruiting speech-focused developers, which most took to mean a self-developed voice system. A pact with Nuance could instead leave any new hires focused on integrating Nuance's systems into iOS rather than repeat much of the work and possibly lag behind Google, often considered a recent pioneer in mobile voice through Android's Voice Actions.

Pressure from Android might steer Ricci into making a compromise. Without control over voice dictation on one of the most important phone platforms, it may have to turn to iOS out of necessity to keep its technology relevant.

Neither company has commented on the assertions.

By Electronista Staff


  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 1999


    Not iOS 5

    iOS 5 is supposed to be released this summer. There's no way they could get it ready in time for iOS 5 (unless it's already partially done)

  1. samirsshah

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    License their patents and...

    proceed on your own if Nuance is asking too much.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011


    Years behind

    iOS is so far behind Android it's not even funny. Always fun to watch the copy machines in Cupertino running full speed.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Apple really doesn't like to spend money on

    costly acquisitions like Google and Amazon do. You'd figure with as much cash that Apple has on hand, they'd just throw it around, but they're smarter than that. The only problem is that Apple isn't buying any other company's value which I think investors might like.

  1. wr11

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Feb 2001


    Please don't forget MacOS

    While I'd love to see more speech in iOS it would really set the bar if it were included in the macOS. No current OS ships with decent speech-to-text.

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