The iPhone 5’s Assistant application might steal its thunder

voice controlTomorrow we’re going to hear a lot of new things about the state of the iPhone. All sorts of projections have been made and speculation has hit a fever pitch. But one thing we’ve already heard quite a bit about is deservedly getting some renewed praise before the iPhone 5 launch, the Assistant.

When Apple first began talking about its iOS 5 upgrade, one of the features we all keyed into was a built-in application called Assistant. Assistant will supposedly bring fully-integrated, native voice control to the iPhone 5 thanks to Apple’s acquisition of Siri.

IPhone owners might think the current state of voice control is adequate, but according to Siri’s co-founder Norman Winarsky, the lengths Assistant will take this to are staggering. In an interview with 9to5Mac, Winarsky says the launch of Assistant is a “world-changing event.”

He prefaces this by saying he has “no knowledge of what Apple plans to do with the Siri purchase,” but that it is very clear the company plans to introduce the first real step toward commercially available Artificial Intelligence with Assistant. “This is real A.I. with real market use,” he says.

Winarsky says this is the beginning of “another technology revolution. A new computing paradigm shift.”

Steve Jobs certainly thought so. He scooped Siri up for more than $200 million a few years back after it had barely been on the market. When the company first launched, Robert Scoble touted is as the “best example of what the Web will be,” and from the sounds of what it is capable of we’re inclined to agree.

Assistant will make it possible not only to interact with your iPhone more efficiently, but with outside apps as well. Siri amassed an impressive list of APIs that Assistant will assumedly have access to, meaning you can request information from a variety of popular apps which the built-in service will be able to find for you. An example of Assistant’s capabilities: You could request Assistant find you the nearest Thai restaurant, and then ask it to make you a reservation. It hooks into the OpenTable API and books the table for you at your requested time.

Now if Apple has made Assistant a priority (and given the hype, we’re hoping it has), we’d assume it’s adding to the list of 40 or so application APIs Siri originally had access to. Maybe this has something to do with the deep Facebook integration that’s rumored to hit the iPhone 5—you’d be able to ask Assistant to access things your Facebook friends are sharing and recommending for your scheduling purposes.

If this is the case, and the scope of its capabilities are as wide as we believe, than Assistant could easily steal a little spotlight from the iPhone 5 itself.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Need a last-minute gift? Get an iPhone Wireless Charger for under $20

Whether you're looking for stocking stuffers or gift ideas, these deals from Mophie, Anker, and Yootech can get you a wireless charging pad for cheap. Don't settle for wired charging if you don't have to.

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.