Nuance Communications' technology is what powers Apple's mobile voice assistant Siri. The company's voice recognition engine can also be found in dictation software like Dragon Dictation and even in devices like Smart TVs. Nina is the company's response to the growing popularity of intelligent personal assistants that are popping up on all Android and iOS devices
Nuance Communications describes Nina as "the first virtual assistant customer service app to incorporate both speech recognition and voice biometrics into a single integrated solution." Nina uses a combination of Nuance technologies like speech recognition and voice biometrics to understand what a speaker is saying and to identify who is speaking. This allows Nina the potential to perform such tasks as paying bills, or the ability to use other personal services without the need to enter a password.
Developers have already started digging into the iPhone OS 3.2 code now that Apple has released the latest SDK in connection with the iPad. There are several hints that increased functionality is on the way in future iterations of the iPhone.
Some of the highlights in the code include ways to accept and decline a video conference, switch a video feed from camera to camera (front and back?), and run a video call in full screen mode or in a window. Could it be that a front-facing camera is on its way to the 4G iPhone for video calling?
AT&T and Apple must have finally decided to allow VoIP calls over the 3G network. The big news was revealed in the new iPhone SDK released by Apple yesterday. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) makes it possible to use services like Skype to make voice calls using the Internet, avoiding the use of cellular calling plan minutes.
AT&T has restricted VoIP applications on the iPhone to Wi-Fi only in the recent past. Now developers are free to make applications that use the 3G cellular data network to make the same calls. Reports have speculated that FCC pressure over net neutrality issues may have prompted the change in policy.
The latest iPhone OS 3.0 beta version is live for developers, and requires installation of the iTunes 8.2 pre-release for activation. Questions and speculation have arisen over a reference to Blu-ray included in the "About iTunes" window of iTunes 8.2.
The text reads: CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and music and video-related data from Gracenote, Inc. Could it be possible that Apple has decided to acquire licensing for Blu-ray technology after all?
Finally, the moment has arrived. Apple Push Notification service is live and ready for testing by iPhone software developers for the first time. The service promises to extend the usefulness of a wide variety of AppStore applications by allowing them to receive data even when not running.
This method eliminates the need for apps to run in the background constantly and drain the already taxed iPhone battery. All registered developers can now participate in the testing program and use the service immediately.
The beta 2 release of iPhone firmware 2.2 is here. There are major improvements to the Maps application. Directions can now be found in three different modes, for driving, mass transit, and pedestrians. Street View has also been added, and allows the user to see street level photographs of a location just like Google Maps on the web.
When getting public transportation directions, subways and buses are both included along with scheduled times from Google Transit when available. Want to send your location to someone you're supposed to meet? Location sharing is another built-in feature that makes this easy.
Apple has seeded iPhone OS 2.2 beta 1 firmware to developers for "compatibility testing." Along with the new firmware they have also released iPhone SDK build 9M2611 beta. Most of the speculation circles around a few key features that were missed in the 2.1 upgrade. Of course, it seems Apple had its hands full with connectivity issues and a long list of usability problems that had to be addressed first.
One of the readers of TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) recently sent in what is believed to be the first set of screenshots of the new iPhone App Store. The App Store is an iPhone application showase/marketplace built into the new (currently development beta) iPhone firmware.
Users who previously tried to load the iPhone App Store on their iPhones were met with a "cannot connect" message. Sometime recently, this changed is allowing access to the App Store which now includes a few applications.
Below are a couple of the screenshots which were leaked. One of the screenshots shows a native Facebook application for the iPhone.
After denying countless developer applications for entrace into the iPhone Developers Program last week, Apple has begun accepting applications and allow developers to begin using iPhones to test software developed with the beta iPhone SDK. However, the good news isn't all good news. According to a new article on iPhoneAtlas, Apple has added what is, in short, a self-destruct mode to developer iPhones should a developer fail to comply with terms of the SDK.
As part of the agreement developers make when using an iPhone for development purposes, once a phone is used for iPhone development - it must always be used for iPhone development, at least until
Google Group Manager for Mobile Platforms, Rich Miner, jabbed at the Apple iPhone during promotion of Google's highly touted Linux-based Mobile OS, Android, at the Emerging Communications Conference in Silicon Valley this week. Despite the strong partnership between Apple and Google in the mobile arena, Miner evidently felt it necessary criticize the iPhone and the iPhone SDK in an attempt to highlight the strengths of the Android platform.
Miner offered up the following as an example of the inherent strength of the Android business model versus that of the iPhone, stating