Apple continues to figure out more and more ways to push its digital voice assistant on its current customer base.
When Siri was introduced for the iPhone 4S in 2011 (the “S” stood for “Siri,” then), “she” (only female) was considered to be a fun experiment for the company. At the same time, users that played around with Siri found her to be underwhelming and unable to process the most basic tasks. When Google Now arrived on Android, most tech analysts decided that Google Now’s abilities were far greater than Siri’s.
What most tech analysts didn’t tell you then (and most won’t now) is that Google Now’s “personality” lacks when lined up against Siri. For all the amazing information you get, you get a “subordinate” with Google Now, not an assistant that you can see as your equal. Siri is more of an “assistant”; Google Now, on the other hand, is a subordinate: it does what you ask, but has no jokes, stories, or funny expressions. In some sense, Google Now is underwhelming when stacked up against Apple’s Siri.
Well, Apple hasn’t given up on its voice command – as the company continues to expand Siri’s presence across its entire iOS experience. First, Siri arrived on the iPhone, followed by the iPad. Now, if a new patent is correct, Apple looks to bring Siri (now with both male and female voices) to the Mac this Fall.
The US Patent titled Intelligent Digital Assistant in a Desktop Environment, is designed to bring Siri to Apple’s laptop PC experience, seeing that Siri is already available on its mobile devices. Of particular note is Apple’s expectation that Siri will enhance or highlight MacBook capabilities above both the iPhone and iPad:
“Most desktop, laptop, and tablet computer operating systems support user interface interactions across multiple windows and/or applications (e.g., copy and paste operations, drag and drop operations, etc.), and parallel processing of multiple tasks. Most desktop, laptop, and tablet computers…support more complex and sophisticated interactions and functionalities than many small mobile devices. The integration of an at least partially voice-controlled intelligent digital assistant into a desktop, laptop, and/or tablet computer environment provides additional capabilities to the digital assistant, and enhances the usability and capabilities of the desktop, laptop, and/or tablet computer.”
While it’s always the case that Apple could file this patent and never bring it to light, we have a feeling that Apple wouldn’t do that with its important digital voice assistant, considering that Siri is already such a vital part of iOS. We don’t see the company creating an iOS/OS X hybrid device or operating system, but we do see Apple expanding Siri across all of its mobile devices – and expanding Siri’s capabilities over time.
Apple expanded Siri’s capabilities in iOS 7, allowing her to not only set alarms and reminders, but to even turn on/off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, play music, read text message, show missed calls, set a timer, show tweets from Twitter, update your Twitter status, find meeting notes, play your voicemail messages, activate games, launch photos, make reservations, provide up-to-date weather information, convert currency, Google a search term, FaceTime a contact, and so much more.
Also, Apple will unveil the iPhone 6 on September 9th, sources say. We’ve heard that iWatch is on the way, and will continue to wait for more evidence.