Apple Working on Amazon Echo Competitor, Opening Siri Up to Developers

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Apple is actively developing a product that would compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home, reports The Information. Citing a source with direct knowledge of Apple's plans, the report suggests Apple is working on a Siri-based device that would include a speaker and microphone that could be used for features like listening to music, getting news headlines, and more.

In addition to developing such a device, Apple is planning to improve Siri by opening the voice assistant up to outside developers. Apple is said to be preparing to release a Siri software development kit that would allow developers to make their apps and their app content accessible through Siri voice commands. Apple plans to require developers to use the tool responsibly.

Opening Siri up to third-party developers will go a long way towards expanding the capabilities of Apple's virtual assistant. Right now, Siri only works with a handful of apps like OpenTable and Yelp, and Apple has been hesitant to develop a Siri API and improve Siri's functionality because of privacy concerns.

According to The Information, a Siri SDK could be introduced as soon as WWDC, meaning third-party Siri access would be built into iOS 10 and perhaps OS X 10.12, which is also rumored to be gaining Siri support.

Both Amazon and Google have developed robust in-home personal assistant devices built around their respective AI platforms, which Apple hopes to compete with. The products are able to perform a wide range of features, from giving weather reports and answering queries to controlling smart home devices like light bulbs and thermostats. The Amazon Echo has been well-received, and Google's Home product, just announced at Google I/O, supports similar features.

Apple has reportedly been working on an Echo competitor since before the Echo debuted last year, and it will perhaps include features like a speaker, Internet access, and the ability to control HomeKit products. It is not known when Apple will be ready to debut its home accessory or how it will fit into the company's existing product lineup.

Article Link: Apple Working on Amazon Echo Competitor, Opening Siri Up to Developers
 

Crzyrio

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2010
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Will be interesting to see how this is handled.

Anyone know how Google handles 'Ok Google' SDK for apps?
What happens when multiple apps have the same action words?
 
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thekeyring

macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
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Why do they need stand alone hardware?

If they give Siri the same functionality across the Watch, iPhone, iPad, Mac and TV, most people will have a device than runs Siri to hand.

...and for those who don't own any Apple products, what will this new device do that entices them to buy?
 

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
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Because they were first to which product or market exactly?
Don't tell me they are going to do it better, their QA has gone down the *******s, their ever tightening dumbing down of features and the interface is infuriating and they are neglecting many of their former values time and time again.

What's mostly still intact is their industrial design.
The rest has taken major hits.

Glassed Silver:mac
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
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There has been a fair bit of chatter in Apple blogging and podcasting about the need for Apple to do this as of late.


Ugh, I hate to be so negative. But yep, it's a little too late.
It's still early days - Google's product is just as non-existent and Amazon has not been in the market long enough. And considering how many iOS devices there are that could tap into such a product...


Not to mention, Siri is just so tainted to me. It fails at everything from playing music to simple queries to understanding me when I'm speaking perfectly fine. I just wish the Echo wasn't on constant backorder.
Opening it up to third-party applications should hopefully result in a more robust and feature-rich "Siri Experience".