There was an almost palpable collective feeling of “Finally!” among iOS users when, with iOS 10, Apple introduced third-party app integration with Siri. This allows you to interact with third-party apps via Siri, so you can, for example, order an Uber or Lyft through the digital assistant, or dictate a message to WhatsApp and so on. It isn’t always apparent which apps have updated with Siri integration or if they have, what functionality they have with Siri.
Apple continues to work on dedicated chips to perform specific tasks and integrate seamlessly with iOS. According to Bloomberg, the company is developing a Neural Engine to handle artificial intelligence-related tasks. The custom silicon would join others such as the Apple A10 Fusion chip, M10 motion coprocessor, and the Apple W1 wireless audio chip.
IKEA plans to add Apple HomeKit capabilities to its line of smart lighting known as TRÅDFRI this summer. The firmware update will bring smart home technology within reach of even more people across the globe, thanks to the relatively affordable options IKEA provides. According to the press release, IKEA will soon make its $80 TRÅDFRI gateway kit compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as well as Apple HomeKit.
Hot on the heels of Amazon's Alexa coming to iOS, Siri has more competition in the voice assistant department. The Google Assistant can now be installed as a stand alone app on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. While the Google Search app for iOS includes voice capabilities, the full-blown Google Assistant is more sophisticated and powerful.
Apple is poised to launch its own Siri-based personal assistant accessory, which would compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home. In fact, according to Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities the chances of Apple revealing the new device at WWDC are over 50 percent. This year's developer conference is scheduled for June 5-9 in San Jose.