Siri 2.0

Great piece about Apple’s future Siri goals by Brian Roemmele over on Medium:

Tom Gruber, one of the original team members and the chief scientist that created Siri technology, stayed on and continued his work. During most of 2016 and 2017 we will begin to see the results of this work. I call it Siri2 and am very certain Apple will call it something else.

Apple’s continued march into a future where our voice is the major way we interact with our devices will be evident at WWDC. I’m super excited to see how they supercharge Siri and some of the other cool stuff they will show off. From everything I have heard, Apple is about to blow us away.

Apple Working On Google Home Competitor, Siri SDK

The Information:

Apple is upping its game in the field of intelligent assistants. After years of internal debate and discussion about how to do so, the company is preparing to open up Siri to apps made by others. And it is working on an Amazon Echo-like device with a speaker and microphone that people can use to turn on music, get news headlines or set a timer.

Opening up its Siri voice assistant to outside app developers is the more immediate step. Apple is preparing to release a software developer kit, or SDK, for app developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.

Word is they started working on this before Amazon’s Alexa (Echo) was announced. For all the hubbub over their lack of vision and ability with AI and services, I think they are going to really bring it at WWDC. There’s a lot of potentially amazing advances (with Siri and beyond) that will be announced. I’m excited to see them unveil these additions and extensions to iOS and other platforms.

New iPhone 7 Leak Collaborates Previous Rumors Of Minor Redesign

9to5Mac offers us another iPhone 7 leak, via a source who also broke the iPhone 6 design. This leak collaborates previous leaks unlike yesterday’s. It would seem that, as has been mentioned in the past, Apple was working on 3 varying designs of the next iPhone, of which they seem to have decided to stick with a minor design tweaking over a massive rethinking. If nothing else, it looks a bit sleeker. It also seems like both models will see some pretty huge upgrades in the camera department. 

Inside Apple’s Revamped Store Experience

The Verge has some great photos of the new Apple Store Flagship experience. The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple also has a great run down of the many aspects of this massive rethinking of the Apple Store and the experience of being in one. I really hope these changes roll out to all of their stores – they look incredible. 

New iPhone ‘7’ Leak Showcases iPad Pro-Like Design

A strange new leak seems to show off a new design that goes against what many rumors claimed iPhone 7 (or whatever it is called) will look like. 9to5Mac has the photos and also notes that this supposed leaked chassis does not jive with the rest of the rumor mill. It looks like an iPhone with iPad Pro design cues, given the relocated camera LED flash and the four speaker design. 

I’m mostly curious to see whether this was an idea that they already scrapped or if it was a recent change in order to better differentiate the next generation iPhone from the current crop. It’s definitely shaping up to be an interesting iPhone upgrade cycle, especially rumors that claim this year will be less substantial than expected and 2017 being a total rethink

Also leaked recently, the dual-camera component and memory components, suggesting Apple will stick with a 16GB model of their next iPhone – which seems petty at this point. At least, it would seem that they are also working on a 256GB model as well.

Apple Invests $1 Billion In Didi Chuxing, A Chinese Ride-Sharing Service

Reuters’ Julia Love reports on last week’s surprising announcement that Apple was investing a billion dollars into the Chinese version of Uber, Didi Chuxing:

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said on Thursday it has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, a move that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said would help the company better understand the critical Chinese market.

The tech giant’s rare investment gives it a stake in two burgeoning waves of technology – the sharing economy and car technology – as the iPhone business that propelled it to record profitability shows signs of maturing.

Apple is trying to reinvigorate sales in China, where it has come under greater pressure from regulators, and Cook is traveling to the country this month.

The move aligns Apple with Uber Technologies Inc’s chief rival in China, as automakers and technology companies forge new alliances and make cross investments. General Motors (GM.N), for example, recently bought autonomous driving technology company Cruise Automation and has also taken a stake in U.S. ride-sharing company Lyft.

Cook said in an interview that he saw opportunities for Apple and Didi Chuxing to collaborate in the future.

“We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” he said. “Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.”

Apple Shortens App Review Times

Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. has cut the approval time for new submissions to its App Store from more than a week to less than two days, part of a broader push to increase revenue from services including mobile applications.

The accelerated pace allows app developers to fix bugs faster, try out new features more regularly and better react to market changes, while building developer loyalty to Appleā€™s iOS mobile operating system. The mean approval time has fallen from 8.8 days a year ago to 1.95 days in the past two weeks, according to AppReviewTimes.com, which analyzes user-submitted data. In December, the average was more than five days.

Another sign that Phil Schiller gaining greater control of the App Store is a positive for us all.