Just days after Apple Store employees started their internal training of Apple’s upcoming iCloud and iOS 5, Apple’s global carrier partners have begun their own version of the process. According to participants, the training largely mirrors the training that occurred soon before last year’s iOS 4 launch alongside the iPhone 4. Interestingly, these major carrier partners’ support divisions are also being trained on iCloud.
This iCloud training demonstrates Apple’s push of both iCloud and iOS 5 as integrated products. After all, many of iCloud’s unique features are iOS-device based and many of iOS 5′s cornerstone features rely on iCloud connectivity. The training materials are said to have been developed with Apple’s assistance and include both detailed video and PDF-based explanations. With these carriers already training, we’re thinking that official news from Apple on the subject is imminent.
Separately, Apple’s most prominent carrier partners have been seeded near-final builds of iOS 5 for final testing. This build is newer than the betas seeded to developers and includes some unique features. According to a source testing this build, FaceTime over 3G is active. According to this source, testers are being instructed that 3G FaceTime testing is a high priority. What is still up for discussion, though, is whether or not this feature will reach end users in iOS 5.
In addition, this near-final iOS 5 build in late carrier testing includes the Nuance Dictation speech-to-text feature we first revealed screenshots of and detailed. According to a source testing the feature, it works almost identically (video above) to the Android operating system’s speech-to-text feature. It’s also very polished, quick, and accurate said the source – which is obvious for being an Apple product but also is indicative of the product being nearly complete.
One last thing… that iOS 5 system-wide Assistant feature we revealed and discussed on several occasions? It’s apparently not in this near-final build. Since the feature is confirmed to be in development, our only assumption is that iOS Assistant is an iPhone 5 exclusive. Or, Apple is keeping it from even their most important carrier partners until it’s officially announced.