9to5Mac spilled the beans on the plentiful amount of new features coming in the iPhone 5, which they seem to have confirmed with sources. There’s a lot we already expected, but the big news of the leak this morning is a voice-controlled Assistant.
Apple acquired Siri back in 2010, and up until now we haven’t heard much about Apple’s implementation of its technology. Assistant will be an exclusive feature to the iPhone 5, as it needs the extra processor power and RAM. It’s a system-wide voice navigation tool for controlling just about anything with your voice. Pressing and holding the iPhone’s home button will bring up Assistant, effectively replacing the original Voice Control function. From there, you can schedule appointments in the Calendar app, send a text message (or iMessage), get directions, and pretty much everything else.
The commands for Assistant are easy, but more extensive than before. Voice Control’s interface had quick commands scrolling by so you always knew how to go about speaking, but Assistant supposedly has the familiar Info button in the corner, which brings up common commands for completing tasks. Again, this is a lot like a Voice Control 2.0, in that most of the functionality in the iPhone 5 — as opposed to just making calls and listening to music — can now be controlled by voice. Presumably, Apple will release an Assistant API for developers to expand its usability even further.
In addition to this software news, there’s some interesting hardware specs. A beautiful 8 MP camera will be in the rear of the device and will include support for native panorama shots. The dual-core A5 chip and 1 GB of RAM will be inside, which is important to note because both show Apple’s need for better multitasking capabilities in the future. One thing 9to5Mac was silent about in the report is the iPhone 5’s new design. Most think it will feature a curved aluminum back, especially after the recent leaked cases from Case-Mate. There’s no information on the size of the display either. However, they did point out the new antenna system will have built-in support for both GSM and CDMA networks — ergo AT&T and Verizon.
Time is winding down for the big announcement. The hype is increasing, as are the leaks. We’re fairly certain the Apple event will take place on October 4th, which means those traditionally vague invitations from Cupertino should be going out some time this week. Stay tuned!