Apple's certainly no stranger to speech recognition, but it looks like it may have enlisted a bit of outside help for the next version of OS X, otherwise known as Lion. As Netputing reports, some of the text-to-speech voice options available in the developer preview of Lion just so happen to match the voices available from Nuance -- which would seem to suggest a partnership or licensing agreement of some sort, as the voices themselves cost $45 apiece directly from Nuance. In somewhat related news, Apple has also recently filed a patent application that would bring some fairly extensive new speech recognition options to the iPhone -- if it ever actually moves beyond a patent application, that is. In short, it would let you either instantly have a phone call converted to text, or send some text and have it converted to voice on the other end -- which the application notes could come in handy both in noisy environments or in situations where you simply aren't able to talk. It would even apparently incorporate a noise meter that could automatically trigger various options when the ambient noise hits a certain level. Hit up the source link below for a closer look at how it would work.

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