Apple Reportedly Planning to Turn Apple TV into Amazon Echo Competitor

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Apple launched Siri about 5 years ago, however since then the personal assistant hasn’t changed much. Sure it has become much more capable then it was at the time of the launch, but it is still limited to iPhones and iPads, with tvOS being the exception. Only this year Apple is expected to bring the popular feature to the Mac. Now it seems like Apple might have even bigger plans for Siri than simply bringing it to the Mac, as it has been reported that the company is working on a turning Apple TV into a Siri Speaker. This approach will be somewhat similar to Amazon Echo and Google Home but also different in a way that it will be integrated with tvOS powered device instead of having a standalone speaker.

The report comes from VentureBeat, whose source also says that Apple is going to make the Apple TV a “hub of everything”. Achieving this though would also require the device to go through some hardware as well as software changes. In its current form users are more likely to put Apple TV next to their television, even behind it or inside a shelf unit, which makes it hard for the device to act as a speaker and microphone for Siri. Apple TV doesn’t even have a microphone, and even if it did the noise from the fan as well as from the TV will make it very hard for it to listen to the commands from the user.

Apple considered allowing users to give commands to Siri through the Apple TV remote, but dropped the idea as the device requires regular recharging. The company is also not interested in releasing a standalone speaker device for Siri given “how much money Apple has spent on the development of Apple TV” the report says.

With AI based features being at the center of tomorrow’s tech it would be interesting to see what approach Apple takes to integrating Siri into our lives and what other features it is going to add to it. It is also rumored that Apple will finally announce a Siri SDK at WWDC 2016 that will allow developers to build features and integrate their apps into Siri.

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