Come this fall, people will start talking to their iPads. Apple’s breakthrough Siri Assistant, based on an incredible artificial-intelligence system, will no longer be exclusive to users of the popular iPhone 4S. According to trusted sources, one of the tentpole iOS 6 features is Siri support on the iPad. Not just the Voice Dictation brought to the iPad with the third-generation models and iOS 5.1, but the complete Siri voice assistant.
Siri, the software we first detailed for the iPhone in September of last year, brings all of its iPhone 4S features to the iPad, except for the phone-related commands. Music playback, iMessaging, Calendar managing, Reminders, Weather, Maps integration, E-mailing, Notes, Contacts searching, Safari integration, Wolfram-Alpha searching, and more are all present.
With the iPad being a device that is larger than the iPhone, the product typically sits farther away from the user’s mouth. Because of this, some speculators of Siri for iPad have believed that the device’s microphone would be unable to properly hear, and therefore incorrectly interpret, command inputs. Sources, however, dismissed this as nonsense, and these sources say that commands input with same or similar accuracy to the iPhone 4S. iPad voice dictation appears to work well for third-generation iPad users.
Unlike on the iPhone 4S, Siri for iPad is not a full screen experience. This makes sense given the device’s larger, 9.7-inch display. Siri on the iPad is activated by a quick hold of the home button, just like on the iPhone 4S. The interface slides up from below the display with a clever animation. Siri is built into the iPad as a small window on top of whatever interface the user is currently interacting with. This Siri window with rounded corners sits at the bottom center of the display, as you can see in our mockup above. The Siri iPad interface takes very little space over the iPad interface currently in use, and is designed with the same linen texture as on the iPhone 4S. Siri for iPad also works from the lock screen.
More details after the break…
Apple has been testing iOS 6’s Siri for iPad feature on both the current generation iPad (third generation), and last year’s iPad 2. It is unconfirmed, however, if Siri for iPad will actually launch as an exclusive to the latest Retina Display model, but multiple sources say that this is likely the case. One reason that Siri launched exclusively on the iPhone 4S is because Apple believed that a single iPhone model would allow the Siri servers and functionality to grow at a scalable pace. Solely adding the feature to the less-than-three-month old new iPad would maintain this pattern of scaling, versus also jumping to the many more existing iPad 2 units.
It is unclear if Apple will introduce Siri with the rest iOS 6 at the WWDC keynote on June 11 or if Apple is planning to save this feature for an assumed fall event that will likely detail the final changes to iOS 6 and to announce the next-generation iPhone.
iOS 6 will also contain an incredible new in-house Maps application with a 3D mode, a revamped iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore, and features brought over from OS X Mountain Lion.