May 25, 2016

Apple "is preparing to open up Siri to apps made by others."

The Information: 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. By Amir Efrati

'Opening up its Siri voice assistant to outside app developers is the more immediate step. Apple is preparing to release a software developer kit, or SDK, for app developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.'

[via BGR and Yoni Heisler] 'Apple will finally offer official Siri APIs to developers, thus paving the way for third-party integrations, the kind that Amazon Echo users can’t seem to get enough of. Things like ordering an Uber or pizza are currently impossible, because Siri is locked down by Apple. There’s 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.

'We won’t have long to wait, either — 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.

'What’s more, 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 — Apple 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 our homes.'

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