Siri-ously? Apple to join Amazon and Google in AI smart speaker battle

Six years after the arrival of Siri, Apple is reportedly opening her up to developers with the launch of an SDK, according The Information. In addition to finally giving Siri control over third party apps, the company is building its own Amazon Echo-style speaker with a built-in microphone and voice control

These types of devices are all the rage. Since the stunning success of the Amazon Echo and its Alexa personal assistant voice technology, other companies have gradually leapt onto the bandwagon: Sonos announced plans to build voice control into its WiFi home stereo speakers and Google unveiled a similar device called Google Home, which will be powered by a new voice-controlled bot called Assistant. And now Apple is allegedly joining the voice-controlled smart home gadget party.  

Since launching in 2010, Siri’s extension to other apps and products has been gradual. Historically, Apple has added Siri to support for third party apps on iOS through direct partnerships. Last fall, Siri also arrived on the new Apple TV.  An SDK would open things up and hand more power over to developers, many of whom have been eager to add voice control to their apps.

The success of Alexa and Amazon’s aggressive efforts to add support for third party services have left Siri looking a little lame. But if this new report pans out, we should expect to see Siri get a lot smarter and more capable in due time. JPT