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Report: iPhone OS 3.0 may include voice control

There's evidence that robust voice control features--including voice dialing--are coming to the Apple smartphone's next OS, unnamed Ars Technica sources say.

Last month, after the new iPod Shuffle came out, I wrote a column about how Apple might be considering a shift to a voice interface for iPods and iPhones.

Well, now Ars Technica is reporting that there's "evidence of new voice control features coming to iPhone OS 3.0," which will be released sometime this summer.


Ars Technica's sources are of the anonymous variety, but they claim that these new voice features are code-named "Jibbler" and will not only provide voice synthesis but voice recognition.

Ars says Jibbler appears be an enhancement to the iPhone's Finder-like SpringBoard program, which you see whenever the iPhone's Home button is pressed. It serves as an application launcher and will support the newly announced 3.0 Spotlight search.

The article states:

Jibbler may be controlled via the iPhone headset--button squeezes could be used to record short voice segments from the user, which Jibbler will then interpret. Voice synthesis can then be used to give the user a response, similar to the latest-generation iPod shuffle, which can 'read' playlists and track names--the difference being that the iPhone hardware itself could handle real-time voice synthesis.

None of this seems all that surprising to me, as Apple just doesn't do things in a vacuum--it tends to carry over and enhance features from one product to another. So taking the next step beyond the new Shuffle's voice feedback feature--and moving to real voice control--seems logical. Of course, most iPhone owners would be happy if Apple just finally introduced a voice dial option.

Anybody looking forward to these types of potential new voice features? Would a voice-controlled interface be a game changer--or would it be annoying to hear people giving commands to their iPhones?

(Source: Ars Technica via Apple Insider)