Excerpt from some Apple Assistant analysis
Don't think the Assistant functionality ends there. Apparently, the app will plug into Wolfram Alpha, a search engine with a vast supercomputer full of facts. Want to know the population of Barbados, or how many employees worked at Apple between 1986 and 2011? Just ask Assistant. Pub quizzes will never be the same.
The original Wolfram Alpha can be awkward to use -- you have to be accurate in the search terms you input. With Apple's Assistant divining your intention before making its own search, the factual power of Wolfram Alpha will finally benefit the masses.
The potential for Assistant is staggering, and integration of this feature into iOS 5 could represent the moment Apple moves into the search business. Google will be cross.
The catch? Apple will probably say you need the new souped-up iPhone, or an iPad 2, to get your own personal assistant. If there were a single reason to upgrade, this is it.