Apple is reportedly gearing up to not only open up Siri to third-party apps, but also introduce a Siri-powered Amazon Echo-like device.
As part of its efforts to open up Siri to developers, The Information reports that Apple will release a software development kit (SDK) that will enable developers to allow Siri to interact with their apps. From The Information:
Siri already can access a few outside services, such as Yelp, as a result of deals Apple has struck with those companies. But the SDK would let let any developer have such access, this person said. Developers will have to do some work on their end to make sure Siri connects to their app when it's appropriate, this person says.
Apple hopes to make the Siri SDK available in time for its annual conference for developers in June.
In addition, the report claims that Apple is preparing to up the ante on its connected home efforts by introducing a Siri-powered Amazon Echo competitor.
Like the iPhone already does today, the Web-connected Apple speaker in development would allow people to turn on/off or change settings for home appliances and other devices that support Apple's "HomeKit" software, says the person with direct knowledge of the project. Such items include lights, sensors, thermostats, plugs and locks. Making a speaker won't be a stretch for Apple—it has made speakers before, including speakers designed for the iPod music player.
Such an offering would go head-to-head not only with Amazon's Echo connected speaker, but also with Google's just-announced Google Home device, which is set to make its way to consumers later this year.
As with all reports of this nature, it's best to take this with the requisite grain of salt. However, neither development seems too farfetched — particularly with Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference right around the corner.