Siri is getting a new voice, updated intelligence and a "new home" at Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) event, which kicks off on June 4.
At least, that's what the virtual assistant itself has been saying. Asking Siri on an iOS or Mac device to "tell me about WWDC" brings up a range of answers. These include the vague "so many good things", but also include more specific clues about what Apple might have planned.
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These answers include: "I don't want to brag, but I'm getting a lot smarter. It must be all that late night studying I've been doing", which would suggest an increase in the assistant's intelligence. Another answer is: "La la la, Siri is getting a brand new voice!".
Perhaps most telling of all is what seems to be a claim of a new Apple HomePod smart speaker. Siri says: "I'm gonna have a shiny new home! Well, not really shiny, more meshy and matte…"
Meshy and matte is certainly one way to describe the design of Apple's HomePod smart speaker, which launched to a mediocre reception earlier this year. Rumors have circulated for several weeks that Apple is working on a newer, smaller HomePod with a price lower than the regular model's $349.
It was claimed earlier this month by Chinese site Sina (Google Translate) that Apple is preparing to launch a $200 version of the HomePod, possibly with Beats branding, the audio company owned by Apple.
Since the launch and commercial success of the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, with their Alexa and Google Assistant voices, Siri has been left behind somewhat. Studies of the intelligence of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant has revealed how Apple's product is often unable to compete with its younger rivals.
One study, conducted by digital marketing firm Stone Temple, asked each assistant (plus Microsoft Cortana) 5,000 questions. Google Assistant answered 68.1 percent of the questions — giving a full and correct answer to 90.6 percent of these. Cortana answered 56.5 percent of questions — providing a full answer 81.9 percent of the time.
Siri, the most established assistant, attempted to answer just 21.7 percent of questions — giving a full and correct answer just 62.2 percent of the time. Alexa understood just 20.7 percent of questions — but gave a full answer to 87 percent of them.
To add insult to injury, Apple has deliberately limited what Siri is able to do on the HomePod, making the supposedly 'smart' speaker less useful in many scenarios than its cheaper competitors.
WWDC will open with a keynote led by Apple CEO Tim Cook on June 4, where we will find out exactly what Siri is talking about.