A report on Tuesday from The Information says Apple is actively working to develop a Siri-based device that would compete with the popular Amazon Echo, and Google’s soon to be released Home devices. The device would include a speaker and microphone, and could be used for getting news headlines, playing music, getting weather forecasts, and more.
In addition to developing such a device, Apple is planning to improve Siri by opening the voice assistant up to outside developers. Apple is said to be preparing to release a Siri software development kit that would allow developers to make their apps and their app content accessible through Siri voice commands. Apple plans to require developers to use the tool responsibly.
Currently, Siri only works with a small number of apps, such as OpenTable and Yelp. Until now, Apple has been leery of developing a API and opening it up to third-party developers, due to privacy concerns. Access by developers would mean the personal assistant’s capabilities would greatly expand.
The Information, notes an SDK could be introduced as soon as WWDC, which means third-party access could debut alongside iOS 10 and perhaps OS X 10.12, which is much-rumored to be gaining Siri support.
Not much is known about Apple’s alleged Amazon Echo competitor, but the Cupertino firm is said to have been working on it since the debut of the Echo over a year ago. In addition to Internet access, a speaker, and other Echo-like features, Apple’s device would likely include the ability to control HomeKit-compatible devices, such as light switches, thermostats, and more.