Amazon seems to be continually shaking up the market with new ideas like the incredibly popular Amazon Echo wireless speaker and voice command device. In response, Apple has taken the bait and will finally offer official Siri APIs to developers, which paves the way for third-party integrations, the kind that Echo users can’t seem to get enough of. Such things like ordering an Uber or pizza are currently impossible because Siri is locked down by Apple.
There are a few integrations possible via HomeKit, like Philips Hue lightbulbs or Nest, but limiting the digital assistant solely to internet-connected devices was cramping Apple’s style.
Now it appears that Siri will stop being boring and stale in the face of impressive AI advancements from the likes of Google, Viv and Amazon. According to a recent report, Siri integrations are hopefully going to be launched at WWDC in just a few weeks’ time. A preview at WWDC would pave the way very nicely for an appearance in the next version of iOS, which normally lands alongside the new iPhone in the fall.
Apple is also reportedly working on a standalone device meant to compete with the Amazon Echo and Google’s recently unveiled Google Home. If that’s true, it’s huge news because Apple needs a new product desperately and has been lacking any kind of smart home hub until now, but a Siri-powered device would be a serious play to get Apple into user’s homes.
All in all, this is huge news that shows Apple is thankfully willing to become a bit more flexible in an effort to keep up with fast-moving advancements in the AI space.
An AI platform created by former Siri employees not only seemed to lap Siri functionality wise, but also showcased the benefit of allowing third-party developers to tap into an AI platform.
While the degree to which Apple allows developers to tap into Siri remains to be seen, perhaps soon there will be a time where we can finally order pizza, book restaurant tables, or really do more than check the weather with Siri as a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo.