“Siri is lousy at its job,” Pete Pachal writes for Mashable. “That’s the conventional wisdom surrounding Apple’s digital assistant, which has counted the iPhone as a primary residence since its 2011 debut on the iPhone 4S (really second debut, if you count Siri’s previous life as a third-party app).”

“The truth is more complicated, of course. Siri has steadily improved over the almost six years of its existence. It can launch apps and control some functionality in them. It speaks 21 languages, including Norwegian,” Pachal writes. “Not to mention that huge ‘brain transplant’ to integrate machine learning so its answers get progressively better at a faster rate.”

“So Siri gets a bit of bad rap,” Pachal writes. “Where Siri fails… is on the hardware side. That isn’t to say Apple has built poor devices (it hasn’t), just that none of them have been an ideal home for its voice assistant… Where this is all obviously leading is a Siri-powered ‘smart speaker’ similar to the Amazon Echo, and the rumor mill predicts Apple will unveil one — if not at WWDC then at an event later this year. The move makes sense; it’s even overdue… However, if you’re thinking the Siri speaker will follow the usual Apple MO of swooping into a new or sleepy category with a better product, you’re probably in for a disappointment.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We disagree with that last sentence.

Once they finally get something shipping in quantity, it’ll be fun to watch how quickly Apple takes the top end of the market away from Amazon’s Echo since Apple’s solution will certainly have unique advantages within Apple’s ecosystem that makes it the obvious choice for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch users. — MacDailyNews, May 10, 2017

As for how Siri is currently seen (for the next two hours or so, at least), as we wrote a year ago:

There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…

Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.

Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.

Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.

An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely.MacDailyNews, June 15, 2016

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s ‘Siri Speaker’ has entered overseas production ahead of WWDC – May 31, 2017
Apple Siri Speaker: What will it be, how might it look, and what will it do? – May 18, 2017
Wishlist for Apple’s Siri Speaker: Hi-Fi audio, multi-user control, HomeKit, and more – May 8, 2017
Phil Schiller on Amazon Echo-like devices and more – May 6, 2017
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo rumored to borrow trashcan Mac Pro design cues, could arrive at WWDC – April 28, 2017
Following debut of Echo Look with built-in camera, Amazon likely reveal new Echo device with a built-in display – April 27, 2017
Apple said to be working on a Siri-based Amazon Echo rival – April 27, 2017
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo: What if AirPort Extreme becomes the Siri speaker? – December 1, 2016
Apple abandons development of wireless routers – November 21, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo – September 26, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo rival said to include includes built-in cameras to read users’ emotions, recognize faces – September 23, 2016
Apple’s Siri-powered Amazon Echo-like device reportedly now in prototype testing – September 23, 2016
Why an ‘Apple Echo’ would be a hit – June 15, 2016
New Apple TV to take on Amazon’s Echo, source says – May 26, 2016
Apple preps Amazon Echo rival, opening up Siri – May 24, 2016
Apple should make a stationary voice command device like Amazon’s Echo – May 19, 2016
Google unveils its Amazon Echo knockoff called ‘Google Home’ – May 18, 2016
Where’s Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo? – March 31, 2016
Amazon Echo leads mindshare in smart home platform war – February 29, 2016
Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition?/a> – January 7, 2016
Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016