iPhone 5 Assistant Feature Detailed

A few more details about the new iPhone 5 were posted today over at 9to5Mac. Amongst a new feature called Assistant, a few other features were mentioned such as it getting 1GB of RAM, a higher resolution 8 megapixel camera that has a back lit sensor to improve shots in low light conditions.

The device will use the Apple A5 processor (a dual-core chip) and mixed with the 1GB of RAM it will provide even more power than the iPad 2. The reason for the extra boost in performance is due to something called Assistant that is rumoured to be launching on the iPhone 5.

Assistant is inspired by Siri and allows users to interact with the iPhone 5 system wide. Before we go over the positives of the system, note that this feature will probably not arrive on the iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS as it is believed the requirements will be 1GB RAM with an A5 dual-core chip. No doubt a bit of jailbreaking trickery will bypass this but don’t expect great performance if this ends up being correct.

The personal Assistant voice control tool allows users to speak commands to the iPhone 5. This could include “Meet Fred tomorrow at 7am” and when recognised, an appointment is put in your calendar.

To activate, the user holds down the home button for a couple of seconds (loads much quicker than Voice Control because of the A5 chip/RAM) and then the microphone interface “slides up” from the bottom in a clever animation. The speech interface doesn’t cover your entire view, just about the bottom fourth of the display – like the multitasking/app-switcher function. The feature even works from the lock screen.

The reminders app can also be activated with this service and when issuing a command such as buy milk when I arrive at the supermarket, you’ll get a reminder when you arrive in the vicinity of the store. Ask it how to get somewhere and the Map and directions will load up.

One of the details mentioned in the report also reveals that the iPhone 5 can hold a conversation with you. Ask it to make an appointment with someone and it will ask you how to notify this person. When making the the appointment a glance of your calendar is then revealed so you can see if an appointment slot is available.

A where is “someone” feature is also available. Perhaps you want to ask where Bob is, the phone will show you where he is on a map. Privacy settings will be available as well.

We have also heard that recognition is extremely accurate and allows you to speak how you would to another person rather than slowly and clearly.

Assistant also allows dictation of messages. By tapping the microphone button on the keyboard you can simply talk your email or text message and see it converted as you speak.

One final mention is that the assistant is integrated with the Wolfram Alpha app. You can easily ask your phone a question and it will provide an answer for you.

Although we can’t confirm any of this until Apple [AAPL] make the official announcement, the update seems that it will be quite impressive. It’s just a shame it might block out iPhone 4 and 3GS users. Technology needs to move on though, so it’s always expected that older generation devices will miss out.

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