Reports in Apple Insider first noticed the change: Senior vice president of internet software and services Eddie Cue is no longer in charge of Siri.
On Friday (Sept. 1), the publication highlighted alterations to the executive summary page on Apple’s website, with senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi now in charge of the virtual assistant project. Unclear, though, is when the change was made.
Federighi has been leading Siri demonstrations at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference for the last two years, according to reports. Separate reports in The Verge speculated the change could mean Apple is placing greater importance on Siri, as Federighi also heads the company’s MacOS and iOS initiatives.
Apple’s efforts to heighten Siri’s prominence in a market of competitive digital assistants is well-known. Reports in June said Apple is looking to expand Siri’s presence by integrating her with other apps. The move, analysts said, is to compete against Amazon’s Alexa.
Siri is currently synced with calling, fitness, ride hailing and a few other apps, and as Apple looks to add more apps to that list, reports have also suggested Apple could be planning a launch of its own hardware device akin to the Amazon Echo.
In addition to added functionalities, Apple has been looking to more closely integrate its payments offerings with the virtual assistant as well. Last month, Barclays said its customers can now make payments via Siri. Last year, Apple and PayPal teamed up for Siri + PayPal, a solution rolled out in 30 countries enabling consumers to send money via PayPal using Siri voice commands.