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May 25, 2016

Apple Working on Echo Rival: Report

Apple image — The Apple Store, Santa Monica, Calif.

Apple is reportedly building a virtual assistant device to challenge Amazon’s Echo and Google’s newly unveiled Home.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

According to a report from The Information the virtual assistant device is a long-term project that has been in the works since long before Echo was launched, but that does not mean Apple does not have something else up its sleeve.

The iPhone maker is also opening Siri up to third-party app developers through a dedicated SDK that could arrive as soon as Apple’s annual WWDC conference slated for next month.

The rumored Siri-run virtual assistant device will not only enable users to give commands to appliances supported by Apple’s HomeKit platform, it will also execute a number of the tasks carried out by automated bots.

This means Siri would not be as reliant on core Apple features such as sending texts. It will work for iPhone and iPad users as well as those with home speakers and, likely for Mac too as it is thought Apple will announce Siri for Mac this year.

Apple’s main competition is Amazon with its $180 Amazon Echo, $90 Echo Dot and $130 Amazon Tap, all of which are powered by Alexa, the eCommerce company’s digital assistant.

Google just last week unveiled Google Home at I/O, the tech firm’s annual developer conference. Like Amazon’s products, it is a voice-controlled, AI-powered assistant meant to be a control center for the home. The company has yet to say how much the device will cost when it is released later this year.

Apple has yet to comment on the rumors.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.