Some new information about Apple potentially opening up the Siri API for developers and working on an Amazon Echo type device.
Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall but the theme is:
Apple is upping its game in the field of intelligent assistants. After years of internal debate and discussion about how to do so, the company is preparing to open up Siri to apps made by others. And it is working on an Amazon Echo-like device with a speaker and microphone that people can use to turn on music, get news headlines or set a timer.
I’m in two minds about this.
The first is yes, Apple are well overdue in making the Siri API open to developers. This will make Siri so much more useful on all of the devices we currently use it on – iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Presumably, we’ll see Siri also available on the Mac at WWDC and it’s already available to a limited fashion on the Apple TV. Perhaps this was the missing piece Apple was waiting for before opening up Siri to developers.
The second bit I’m not too sure about – creating an alternative Amazon Echo-like device?
Yes, it does seem like Amazon are streets ahead in this space, at least in the context of reliability and confidence. Pretty much everyone I know who has an Echo (we can’t get them here in the UK), effuses how reliable it is in picking up and understanding every spoken command and actioning it. Whereas Siri…
Not so much.
I’ve really had a confidence issue with Siri for a while now.
It’s really clever and has a wide range of multi lingual understanding, but it just doesn’t pick up my commands half of the time. And as for the Apple Watch, I’ve pretty much given up using Siri due to the poor responsiveness. If it doesn’t work reliably, people will stop using it.
However, creating a standalone Apple “Echo” doesn’t seem to fit with Apple’s Siri strategy.
As far as I can determine, they don’t want you to have a single device in every room, they want Siri to follow you around on all your devices.
Why have a separate device in each room whilst you have a device that you effortlessly carry around with you from room to room? Today that’s the iPhone or the Apple Watch, but who knows what wearables they decide on in the future.
So I’m torn.
Yes I’d like to see an Apple “Echo” but I’m not sure their strategy will allow for one. They may just focus on making Siri ubiquitous, responsive and reliable.
But never say never!