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Report – Apple to make Siri play nice with more apps

After announcing last year that Siri was to be made compatible with third-party apps, Apple is reportedly set to expand that compatibility at WWDC 2017 next week.

As Reuters reports, Apple will announce plans to make Siri work with a wider variety of apps, in an attempt to challenge the popularity of rival services such as Amazon’s Alexa.

Citing “engineers and artificial intelligence industry insiders,” the report claims Apple will expand the categories of apps with with its virtual assistant will work, from the current six to an unknown number.

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The current six categories of apps are ride-hailing and sharing, messaging and calling, photo search, payments, fitness, and auto infotainment systems.

It remains unclear how many new categories will be added, but Reuters claims Apple will look to retain some control by focusing on “a small amount of features,” rather than adding a load of new categories.

The report comes following rumours this week that the company will also announce new hardware to rival the likes of the Amazon Echo smart speaker and Google Home.

amazon echoApple is rumoured to be working on a rival to the Amazon Echo

Siri is expected to power the as-yet unconfirmed device, which according to reports has entered the manufacturing stage – though none of this has yet been confirmed by Apple.

The firm’s developer conference is set to get underway on Monday, so we’re expecting to hear more about Siri’s new functionality then – though at this point there’s no guarantee of Reuters report’s accuracy.

Still, it would make sense for Apple to expand Siri’s compatibility with third party services, especially if the company is looking to compete with Amazon and its popular Alexa assistant.

Alexa can currently handle around 12,000 tasks – much more than Siri is currently capable of. The reason? Apple is said to be refining Siri’s ability to respond to more conversational language before it opens up the assistant to more services.

Whatever the case, it seems more and more companies will be focusing on developing their AI assistants in the coming year, so stay tuned for the latest, and check back Monday for all the developments from WWDC.

Let us know what you think of the report in the comments.