Siri and Dictation are presented as two of the iPhone 4S’ key selling points and certainly the most talked about features after both the unveiling and the release of Apple’s second newest iOS-based device. Moreover, when introducing the third-generation iPad, Apple highlighted Dictation (an aspect of Siri) as one of the six major changes and upgrades to entice customers to purchase the newest model.
While it’s unfortunate that complete Siri functionality didn’t make its way to the iPad with the release of the newest generation, it’s also understandable that Apple would keep Siri as an iPhone 4S-exclusive assistant for the time being – considering Apple still notes (on their site) the personal assistant as a beta feature.
Despite the fact that Dictation simply doesn’t offer the same experience and productivity level as complete Siri integration, it does provide a easy and alternative method for text input without the need to type. Users with either a third-generation iPad or an iPhone 4S can chose to simply tap the microphone icon that’s present throughout most apps and text fields, speak their thoughts and Dictation coverts voice input to text.
Currently found on only the two Apple products mentioned above, Dictation shows great promise and could possibly make the transition from iOS to OS X. According to a file discovered by 9to5mac in the latest version of Safari on the newest OS X Mountain Lion developer preview, Apple could introduce the feature to their desktop and laptop OS as early as this summer with the release of Mountain Lion.
Only one reference to Dictation has been discovered so far, but it reveals an interesting insight as to how Apple may implement the feature. As listed in the file, “Cmd-Cmd” (or simultaneously pressing both Command keys) is said to initiate the feature; an interesting and realistic combination, considering it would be improbable to ship physical keyboards with dedicated Dictation keys (like on iOS).
As mentioned above, in light of the fact that additional references to OS X Dictation have yet to be discovered, it won’t be counted among the plethora of additions and upgrades Mountain Lion will bring to OS X until Apple officially confirms it. With that said, stay tuned for additional coverage on Apple, OS X and Dictation.