Apple opening Siri, developing Echo rival

The Information (PayWall), on a rumored Siri SDK:

Apple is preparing to release a software developer kit, or SDK, for app developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.

Note that this is one side of the equation. Bringing in 3rd parties will extend Siri’s range, allow Siri to interact more intimately with those 3rd party apps, give Siri access to the objects inside said app. For example, if I created a favorite recipes app that tracked ingredients, I might be able to pose this to Siri:

Ask Best Recipes how much chocolate I need to make Devil’s S’mores

The flip side of this is growth of intelligence and context within Siri. Can Siri combine queries made over time, to remember context?

If I booked flights and a hotel room the week of June 12-18, would Siri understand that I was attending WWDC? If I asked about restaurants that week, would Siri know enough to show me choices around Bill Graham Auditorium and Moscone West, even if I made the query before I arrived in San Francisco? If I asked Siri to schedule a local appointment that week, would Siri remind me that I would be out of town?

As for its Echo-competitor, Apple has been working on the device since long before the $180 Echo launched in mid-2015, according to a person with direct knowledge and another person briefed on the project. The Echo has been a surprise hit even among some non-tech-savvy English speakers.

Apple is not a “me too” company. They don’t build knee-jerk products. I can only imagine that Apple’s device will be an extension of Siri, just as Siri’s reach will soon extend to the Mac, a broadening reach of a central intelligence.

Apple will have a distribution advantage because Siri is built into the iPhone and Apple Watch.

This is a huge advantage. Unlike Echo, Siri is always with you, at home, when you travel, at the store, everywhere. Apple did this in the right order. The infrastructure is stable, now Siri can evolve somewhat seamlessly.

This is going to be a very interesting WWDC.