Will iPad’s voice dictation feature be replaced by Siri?


It seemed a bit strange for several reasons that following Siri’s debut in fall off 2011 the iPad introduced five months later wasn’t equally equipped with the voice-assistant technology. But there are whispers that will change later this year.

9to5Mac is reporting that it’s heard from “trusted sources” that Siri is coming to the third-generation iPad this fall. That’s presumably when iOS 6, the next version of iOS, will be available for download, along with, presumably, a new iPhone for purchase.

Siri on the iPad will have much of the same capabilities as it does on the iPhone 4S, according to the report: “Music playback, iMessaging, Calendar managing, Reminders, Weather, Maps integration, E-mailing, Notes, Contacts searching, Safari integration, Wolfram-Alpha searching, and more are all present.”

If Siri does come to the new iPad, it may not be part of a broad rollout to all devices capable of upgrading to iOS 6. The report cites “multiple sources” who believe Siri for iPad will only be available on the latest iPad that went on sale in March.

The reason it seemed it odd that Siri was kept away from the new iPad was that there were features in the new device that made it seem as though Siri was meant to be slotted in. The voice dictation feature, which works with a variety of languages, is available in most apps that use the pop-up on-screen keyboard. The glowing purple microphone icon used to indicate the dictation feature is very similar to Siri’s on the iPhone 4S, and the key for launching it is placed identically, just to the left of the space bar.

It’s not clear whether iPad for Siri will be introduced with an iOS 6 preview at WWDC next week or whether the company will wait until the operating system’s launch, which is expected this fall. But even more importantly for potential users to ask is if Siri will be ready for a debut to a larger audience. Siri is still technically a product in beta, and there have been reported issues with the service, which is probably why Apple wanted to try it out on just one device in the first place. But will Siri get an overhaul before it comes to the iPad? CEO Tim Cook acknowledged last week that Siri “could do more” and promised there was much more to come “in the next few months.” So maybe the answer is yes.

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