Apple to open Siri to developers and create home assistant

25 May 2016

Apple is looking to bring itself back to the front of the pack when it comes to its personal assistant, Siri, with news that it is to open it up to developers to tinker with, as well as create an Amazon Echo-like home assistant.

While its competitors’ personal assistants – and even the team that created it – have pushed ahead with developing better and more intuitive AI to answer all your questions, Apple and Siri have always seemed slow to develop, with wisecracks appearing to be where Siri excelled.

Now, however, it seems that Apple’s usual attitude of keeping its technology very close to its chest will be relaxed somewhat to allow third-party developers to work with Siri in finding new applications for it, as well as improving it, according to a source speaking with The Information.

While it opened up its app development to developers to help build iOS into an actual marketplace, otherwise Apple has done little in the way of trying to get outsiders to work with it unless it’s absolutely necessary, such as with car manufacturers and its CarPlay entertainment system.

Now, it seems as if it’s willing to let a fraction of that $215.7bn in cash reserves go to the developers, who will soon be able to get their hands on the software development kit (SDK) to see what they can do with Siri.

Getting serious about Siri

This development leads to the other bit of news emerging from Apple, which has revealed that it is hot on the heels of Google’s recent announcement of the Home home assistant, which was not-so hot on the heels of the Amazon Echo home assistant.

That’s about as much detail as is known at the moment but, given the impressive response to Google Home following the company’s I/O developers conference, Apple will need to pull something special out of the bag to give it an edge in the market.

What it could have going for it, however, is that the announcement of Google Home revealed that, at least in the beginning, the device will be a closed shop to developers, which it would seem is not the case with Apple.

It will now be a case of ‘watch this space’ to see if, or when, Apple makes a formal announcement about this as, for the moment, it is declining to give any comment.

Siri image via Soze Soze/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic