iOS 8 Voice Messaging Comments From Cook Fuel iWatch Speculation

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In the upcoming iOS 8, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is including a voice messaging feature in the Messages app. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said in a research note (via Fortune) Wednesday that the new voice messaging feature could make its way to the iWatch, which is expected to hit the markets later this year. Milunovich says a gesture-based voice messaging feature “makes sense” for a small screen device like the iWatch.

Voice messaging in iOS 8 could help Apple penetrate Chinese market

The UBS analyst’s statement isn’t a wild speculation. He recently had a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is keen on Chinese style voice messaging that lets users dictate messages to their devices and send them off. In China, you can see people speaking into their smartphones, sending voice messages rather than text. Adding this feature to the iOS 8 could also help Apple penetrate deeper into Chinese market.

The current iOS 7 offers speech-to-text dictation feature, but it doesn’t feature a built-in voice messaging feature. However, third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp have already added this feature. In the iOS 8, voice messaging will be included as an alternative to the text messaging. The recently released beta version of the latest OS allows users to record voice messages with a tap-and-hold gesture. Then users can send or cancel it by swiping. That’s the way it could easily be used on wearable devices.

The iOS 8’s voice messaging could be one of the highlights of the iWatch

The Messages app will also let users send video messages in a similar fashion. You can record and send videos with one-finger gestures. Though Tim Cook didn’t mention the iWatch by name, Milunovich believes the iOS 8’s voice messaging technology could be one of the highlights of the iWatch. Rather than tapping in text messages on the small screen of the iWatch, users can talk to the wearable device and send a message with just a few simple gestures.

The iWatch is expected to be launched in October. Reports suggest that it will have more than 10 sensors to track health& fitness, humidity, weather, and a myriad of other things.

Apple shares rose 0.10% to $93.59 at 10:39 AM EDT on Thursday.

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