According to tech blogger Robert Scoble, as reported by TechCrunch, despite Apple not announcing a major voice activation upgrade during WWDC, the technology will still be included in the public iOS 5 release.
Voice integration has been a major part of iOS 5 rumors all spring and according to TechCrunch:
"At least three of our original sources on this were 'very surprised' not to hear anything during the keynote."
All the signs pointed to Apple making a major voice integration announcement after buying (and sitting on) the personal assistant app Siri for some time as well as several job posts for voice integration specialists.
"Another source wonders if our stories on the negotiations between Apple and Nuance didn't throw a wrench in things? Nuance is known to be just as hard of a negotiator as Apple is. And if the rumored features are coming to iOS, they know that Apple absolutely needs them."
Despite Nuance already having a spot in Mac OS X Lion and a rumored role in the iCloud data center in North Carolina, a mention for iOS 5 still did not happen, though it should remain a part of the public release feature set.
"Also interesting is that Roger Rosner, Apple's VP of Productivity Applications who is believed to be in charge of the Siri/Nuance stuff at Apple, was on stage today. But instead of voice features, he demoed Documents in the Cloud and a few other new things. That may have been tweaked at the last second."
Scoble's comment on the TechCrunch piece seems to clear things up a bit, though the timing still does not make sense. If he knew (which would mean Apple knew) weeks ago that it wouldn't be ready, why have Rosner on stage doing a demo on something outside his domain?
Of course it's all speculation at this point, but it seems as though a major revision to voice integration in iOS 5 is imminent. When we hear about it is another story.
Should Apple have announced voice integration plans at WWDC? Let me know in the comments!