Apple will boost Siri’s presence across the app universe, with deployment across a greater number of them, Reuters reported.
The strategy behind the expansion is one where Apple is seeking to staunch the competition posed by Alexa, the competing voice assistant offered by Amazon. Apple is, however, probably going to continue to offer a relatively “small amount of features” spread across the already extant half dozen apps instead of “casting as wide a net as possible,” as noted by engineers and AI industry observers and participants, as the newswire said.
The six app types that currently sync with Siri include messaging and calling, fitness apps, auto infotainment systems and ride hailing. There has been speculation that the tech juggernaut will debut hardware in an echo of, well, Amazon’s Echo. In addition, Echo has thousands of more tasks with which it can work than does Alexa, which illustrates in part a somewhat narrower focus of the former.
The differences are a bit stark, as the newswire noted that Alexa needs to receive specific language and commands, centered chiefly on directives to “ask” or “tell” across certain tasks in order to work within certain “skills.”
In addition, the two assistants do not have the same service ability — where, for instance, Alexa can order food for home delivery, while Siri cannot, indicating separate use case ability. The business models are themselves still evolving as Siri works, in Reuters’ summation, “as an additional tool for controlling traditional apps” and Apple pays the owners of those particular apps. Elsewhere, Alexa’s skills are free, with no payments accruing to developers.
Apple may, in fact, look to expand its developer base, as, among other observers, Matt McIlwain, identified as a venture capitalist with Madrona Venture Group, stated that “to attract developers in the modern world, you need a platform. If Apple does not launch a ‘skills store,’ that would be a mistake.”