Apple Expands Siri CapabilitiesIf you want to know the best Mexican restaurant in town or find out when the latest MARVEL movie is playing at the theater, just ask the smartest person in the room: your phone. The ever-present Siri, Apple’s version of a voice-activated personal assistant, has been a part of iOS since 2011. Although her helpfulness has been called into question — almost every iPhone user has experienced the occasional blank response from the intelligent assistant — the future looks bright for Siri, as Apple has announced it is doubling down on the program with expanded capabilities and app integration.

With the success and growth of Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent assistant, and the various speakers that utilize the service, including Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap, it makes sense for Apple to get in on the game.

Siri is a main part of the iOS and works with a handful of third-party services, including Yelp and Bing. Siri hasn’t been available to developers for full integration yet, but in mid-June, Apple began offering a new software development kit or SDK. This means possible future integration from some of the major players in home theater, including Spotify, Netflix and more.

Additionally, reports say Apple is working on a new speaker similar to the Echo which will integrate with HomeKit, Apple’s smart home system. The speaker would allow users to not only play music, but also to control other HomeKit-enabled devices, like lights, locks, thermostats, and security systems.

Although the two systems sound similar, this announcement is great news for Apple fans; the new Siri speaker and Siri SDK will allow seamless integration between iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices. And considering that Siri predates Alexa by a few years, it could mean a better product right out of the gate.

Apple has yet to announce a release date for a Siri-enabled speaker, but the product is on the horizon.

*Photo credit: Apple