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Phones

iOS 5 may have smarter voice-recognition software built in

The next version of iOS may include advanced native voice recognition software, according to rumours suggesting Apple is in talks with Nuance.

Adding full-blown voice recognition to mobile phones is a total no-brainer. Apple may be the first to achieve it by marrying its advanced office-friendly iPhone and iPad apps with decent native voice recognition in iOS 5. Jobs' mob is in "serious negotiations" with speech technology company Nuance, according to TechCrunch.

Some voice control is present in iOS, but it's far from a complete solution. Sure, you can get it to dial the numbers of people in your address book or play music by a certain artist, but that's not going to get you very far if you want to dictate a memo or a tweet.

While third-party apps with decent voice recognition already exist for iOS devices, including Nuance's free Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search, Apple would retain much more control by having its own built-in software.

Speech recognition on Mac OS X has never pushed the boundaries either, limiting the user to a few basic commands and actions such as application launching and opening address book contacts.

The Android platform already has Android Voice Actions, which offers the user more advanced controls including searches, dictation and form-filling. Google's system is far from perfect, but it's certainly more advanced than anything Apple currently offers.

We just hope Apple uses the services of Nuance UK when implementing its software for us Brits -- we have lousy American accents.