Siri-like Dictation coming in Mountain Lion

Your Mac's PA ability will be limited to taking notes

Apple has already announced many of the new features coming in the new version of OS X this summer, but if beta code tidbits are being correctly interpreted, Siri-like dictation may be a secret feature coming to the Mac in Mountain Lion.

The latest seed of Mountain Lion, includes a reference to a new keypress combination (cmd-cmd) that would "Start Dictation".

This dictation feature may well be Siri driven, notes 9 to 5 Mac.

However, rather than being a Mac version of the Siri-style personal assistant available in beta on the iPhone 4S, the Mac tool is more likely to be the Dictation feature available on both the iPad and iPhone.

Dictation on the iPhone and iPad is triggered by the microphone 'key' on the virtual keyboard. To date Mac keyboards do not sport such a key. Presumably the key combination spotted by 9 to 5 Mac means that users would need to simultaneously tap both command keys to start voice input. Perhaps future Macs might come with the addition of a microphone key.

Nuance, the company that is rumoured to be behind the technology that powers Siri and the dictation feature in iOS already sells dictation software for the Mac. If Apple was to include a dictation feature as standard on the Mac it could leave products like Nuance's Dragon Dictate out in the cold, although it is likely that Nuance would be able to offer additional features that Apple wouldn't include as standard in a basic dictation solution.

There is also a question of whether dictation on the Mac would be a useful feature to have in a noisy office environment. It seems likely that it would be a niche feature, used in the home or study.

Apple is currently being sued in the US over the iPhone 4S Siri feature. Customers there have complained that the feature doesn't work as advertised. The initial lawsuit was filed in March by a iPhone 4S owner who claimed the iPhone 4S's voice activated assistant feature doesn't work as advertised. A second lawsuit accuses the company of misrepresenting the iPhone 4S's voice assistant feature in its advertising campaign.

Apple claims that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs have not specified that the claims about Siri led them to purchase the device.

Another new features coming in Mountain Lion, according to reports, is the ability to save web pages in Safari to read when offline. Gear Live notes that in the Mountain Lion beta the Safari Reading List feature includes a message that "Reading List articles are available for viewing while you are offline."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Karen Haslam

Macworld U.K.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?