updated 04:55 pm EDT, Sat May 14, 2011
Apple using Nuance voices in Lion text-to-speech
Apple's rumored pact with Nuance was given confirmation Saturday after an exploration found Nuance's voices in the new Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview 3. Many of the voices added to Lion's text-to-speech conversion, such as "Moira" or "Sangeeta," are lifted directly from Nuance's RealSpeak Solo, Netputing found. Apple may have even bought out the product as part of its deal, since the demo page exists but the for-sale product has disappeared from the store.
The new voices haven't been completely integrated into Lion but also appear to have been slightly improved for Apple's uses.
With most rumors of Nuance involvement having centered around iOS but now known to include the Mac, it's possible that Apple is making voice a much stronger focus across all its product line, not just mobile hardware. Google has made voice near-ubiquitous in Android as an option for commands, dictation, and search. Desktop voice is still new but was recently rolled into Chrome 11 for certain web forms.