Ever since Apple unveiled Siri alongside the iPhone 4S, many are eager to see voice control and dictation features come to the rest of Apple’s product lines. Fortunately, Apple is making strides to bring voice technology to other devices – they included Dictation in the 3rd gen iPad, and according to 9to5Mac, they may be working on bringing Dictation to the Mac as well through OS X Mountain Lion.
Dictation is one of the most obvious voice technologies that the Mac could benefit from, and many companies, such as Nuance with the Dragon line of apps, have capitalized on this in the past – but a free solution baked directly into every future Mac is a very exciting prospect!
The feature would allow users to speak to their Macs, while Dictation would spell out their words on screen, potentially saving users a great deal of typing. According to the report, references to Dictation have been found in Mountain Lion, suggesting that users will be able to activate the feature by simultaneously tapping both command keys on the keyboard.
Beyond the ability to dictate text, building voice recognition directly into OS X would pave the way for deeper voice control in the future – the idea of commanding your Mac to open a certain app, find a certain file, send tweets or emails, or perform any number of other tasks is extremely appealing. Even though this has been attempted in the past via third-party software, I have yet to see a solution for this that actually works well.
The report also notes that the feature is not yet functional in current previews of OS X Mountain Lion, although that’s not terribly surprising – Apple doesn’t typically let all of the details and features of their software out until they make an official announcement, which could happen at WWDC in June.
Apple has stated that OS X Mountain Lion will be released in “late summer.”