A little over a year ago, a startup called Siri built a new type of search app for the iPhone, able to find answers across the web for queries spoken in plain English, such as “find me a hotel,” or “where’s the closest Starbucks.” Depending on the query, the app invokes specific built-in APIs, in order to find the best answer possible, using search engines, maps websites, and so on. Apple was so impressed by the technology that the company bought the startup, to integrate the capabilities offered by the app in an upcoming version of iOS. A year later, the technology still hasn’t made its way into our favorite operating system, but things might change soon, as according to a TechCrunch article published earlier today, the technology brought by Siri will be extensively used by iOS 5.
The use of Siri’s artificial intelligence and assistance technology is said to be deeply integrated into the OS for all the different services offered. And the team is now putting the finishing touches on the elements that will be demoed at WWDC, we hear. This tech may also be opened to developers for use in third-party apps — though that information isn’t quite as concrete.If the rumor holds up, the next generation of iOS would then require significantly less user interaction, as the operating system would be able to directly understand spoken queries, such as “Launch Angry Birds.” Note that the Siri iPhone app is still available on the App Store, if you want to give it a try – the app is free. And even if the app’s capabilities are not baked natively into iOS 4, the app works great, and will allow you to book restaurants, movies, taxis and more.