Wishlist for Apple’s Siri Speaker: Hi-Fi audio, multi-user control, HomeKit, and more

“As someone who enjoys testing new gadgets, I’ve been very tempted at times to purchase and try both the Amazon Echo and Google Home voice assistant speakers,” Zac Hall writes for 9to5Mac. “Rumors of an Apple version have convinced me to hold off, however, and it’s possible once again that we may soon see Apple’s take on the category.”

“Amazon Echo and Google Home both offer features that I’d like, but there are things I do with Siri on my iPhone and Apple Watch that only a Siri Speaker would offer,” Hall writes. “Based on Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest research note, it sounds like Siri Speaker will use audio quality as a key selling point thanks to seven tweeters and a subwoofer. Amazon Echo makes for an OK music speaker, but it’s not pitched as a hi-fi speaker by any means. Siri Speaker could take a more premium position in the market by boasting better audio quality while using Apple Music as a service made for it.”

“Siri Speaker will be a shared device used in shared spaces so voice profiles will be essential to a great experience,” Hall writes. “Take Reminders for example. If I say ‘Siri, remind me to call mom on Sunday’ I’ll want it to go to my Reminders list based on my voice. If my wife says the same command, ideally the entry would be added to her Reminders list.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With Airport Mesh Wi-Fi (à la eero) baked right in, too, pretty please!

Wi-Fi router capabilities to be built into Apple’s Echo echo? — MacDailyNews, November 21, 2016

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


  1. There is NO WAY I’d touch any product like this from Apple. They are late to the game and it’s nothing more then a hoppy. Look at the dying homekit.

    I’ve been burned too many times by apple with their little hobbies. You invest in them and even if they are successful Apple just drops them.

    Still waiting for the iweb updates, aperture updates, iDVD updates. Anyone seen a Mac update lately? How are those expensive apple routers doing? iCloud is a buggy mess. Homekit flounders while others flourish. Homekit should support the other standards and take what seems like too much work for Apple to handle.

    Stick to the technologies that are more widely adopted and will be around. There is NO WAY anyone should touch an Apple Echo knock off or turn there house into homekit only.

    1. I work as a contractor out of state and have a small apartment. My wife and I take turns driving out to see one another during weekends. I have our 3rd gen (previous gen ) AppleTV which we like. We are considering getting Netfix and / or Amazon Prime. We are considering either an Amazon Fire something or a Roku box. Even though we have only 1080p sets, a new AppleTV is not even under consideration. (And we are both Apple fans / investors. ). Apple offers too little, too late, for too much over the past couple of years with exception for the iPhone.

      Plus there is no way in Hell we want any company’s listening device in our home. We even pull out the batteries of Comcast’s voice remote just in case. We never use the voice feature anyway.

      1. Do you have a Samsung or LG smart TV? If you do then those devices are listening, visually recording and sending your data back to the mothership.

        Apple has higher standard in regards to privacy than most companies. Siri inquiries may reside on Apple’s servers for a specified amount of time like they do with the iPhone, or they could engineer a Siri speaker to capture and process the requests on the device itself. If they license Siri to third-party vendors like thermostat companies then they probably would have some sort of encryption and rules which disallow third-party vendors from capturing normal conversation. To the best of my knowledge, Amazon doesn’t force their partners partners to abide by similar rules.

        1. Thanks Spy Devices.

          Yes we do have 2 Samsung TV’s. Neither of which is connected to the Internet. Don’t forget Vizio too. Not sure if it transmits data by itself.

          It is not so much Apple I worry about but Gov’ts around the world. Any one of them can strong arm Apple to giving them data.

          It has gotten worse. Judges can force a suspect to give over a fingerprint. Sort of like giving over a key. I am okay with that. I am not okay with judges demanding a password be remembered and given or else the person is thrown in jail indefinitely or until that person hands over a password to unlock a device.

    2. “How are those expensive apple routers doing? ”

      Mine are doing really well (3 airport extremes, lay st gen, 6 airport expresses connected to speakers in most rooms). I have a housewide bridge network and that hasn’t delivered under 234 Mbps since I upgraded to Comcast Blast. BTW, the bridge mode was very easy to set up, with the software automatically detecting when a router is connected to Ethernet. Never have a problem connecting to any speaker in any part of the house. None of our Apple TVs, smart TVs, or playstations (all connected to the wireless network) have had a network-related hiccup in months.

      1. I have a closet full of Apple routers. They all still “work” kinda. But all suffer from the same disease. Lack of functionality and all started needing frequent restarts.

        So I installed an enterprise wifi system in my house, for less then one Apple router. No restarts, no loss of speed, way better coverage and full of features. Just another hobby apple shouldn’t have gotten into.

        It pisses me off to be so invested in Apple and get burned so often. The only thing that hasn’t bit me in the ass yet is the stock.

    3. MDN readership has pretty much become a trolling community. Most opinions like yours are basically juvenile and just plain ignorant. Technology moves forward, and old technology dies off. And guess what Apple isn’t the only company that eventually decides something is no longer worth supporting or updating. Hell, Google is much more infamous for dropping services and products. And they can’t even get Android to support hardware more than 2 years old!

      iWeb? Seriously. Why don’t you throw HyperCard in that list of yours? Or maybe ClarisWorks?

      Furthermore, HomeKit is not “floundering”. It is just starting to take off. Why? Because Apple demanded that all communication be upgraded with more secure encryption. Why the hell would you NOT want that in devices that control your home!? You would have to be an idiot to even consider installing something that was less secure.

      And finally, I have no idea why you included Apple’s routers in your rant. They support WiFi – it’s a widely used standard. Whether Apple continues to make them any longer is irrelevant, they still work and work pretty damned well – mine does at least.

      1. Trolling? That’s funny. I have over 100k in Apple stock and I’m very interested in their success. I bought apple Stock at $19 when everyone was jumping ship , steve jobs came back and announced the ipod.

        I mentioned iweb because it’s still a viable product today and hypercard is not. You really can’t be this stupid.

        Look at the list of Zwave and zigbee devices vs the very limited amount of Homekit devices. Sadly, apple decided to heavily depend on the limited bluetooth vs wifi. I couldn’t reach across my home to control devices with Homekit without a repeaters. Is homekit more secure? Sure, but if my lights start going on and off without my input then I might be hacked. Then of course they have to get passed my enterprise firewall. Oh, the horror a hacker turned my lights on and off.

        I’m surprised how dumb you are, I mentioned routers because people have invested into apple infrastructure in their homes. Apple routers are notorious for not playing nice with other wifi products like bridges or repeaters. Now if you have invested in an apple router and repeaters and one dies, then you’re stuck replacing the entire system. Heck you couldn’t even get QOS with an apple router. Another hobby dies. That’s why I jumped ship from Apple peripheral hardware years ago and now stay away from software from apple.

        They led us photographers on for years with Aperture promised updates. A great product that really put a hurting on Adobe Lightroom and then they just abandoned it. More wasted apple money.

  2. Here’s my wish list.

    1) stop.

    2) get the new Macs out the door

    3) up date them every six months without fail

    4) give Tim a new iPad to play with to shut him up

    5) give Jony Ive the job of redesigning the floor tiles in the men’s washroom

    6) start innovating again by listening to what the market wants and give them a solution they hadn’t thought of. Like you used to.

    7) find out who was responsible for the current mac issue, sack them, sack the people who hired them, sack the people who were on the room when you hired them

    8) poach some designers and engineers from Microsoft because they are out innovating you on the power desktop.

  3. I would welcome a higher quality speaker but it would only be of use to me if it could relay the analogue audio output from my HiFi, which is the hub of my audio system.

    Airport Express units did a good job of relaying the audio played from iTunes or digital video, but there hasn’t been a convenient way to digitise live audio and relay it over WiFi. Without the ability to relay real time analogue sources, it could never replace my conventional wireless speakers.

    While I would expect a Siri speaker to be normally connected to the mains, I would also expect it to have a battery allowing for a few hours of wireless operation. If you move it around, it should be aware of it’s location so that if you’re using HomeKit and ask Siri to turn on the light, it would be smart enough to know that if it has been carried out to the porch, it would turn on the porch light instead of the living light that is normally nearby.

  4. It is funny to me how many times people want to jump on Apple for the “too little tool late” when it’s easy to argue this is what Apple does with almost every product line. They innovate, not invent. They wait to see pitfalls and correct them. iPod, not the first MP3 player. iPhone, not the first smartphone (by quite a bit). Apple Watch, not the first smart watch. Hell, the Mac wasn’t the first computer by any stretch. iPad wasn’t the first tablet.

    Now, that said, the question or potential knock is can/will they evolve that category of technology enough to make a difference. iPhone, clearly they did. iPad. Debatable. If you throw in Apple maps as a late to the game product, that was a failure at best. Offered nothing that new and at first was really bad.

    So I will hold off judgement until the product, if/when released, comes out. See if Apple has any magic left in Cupertino to wow us with a “oh, I did t realize I needed/wanted it to be able to do that and/or have that” moment or two.

  5. If Apple took the next logical steps in expert systems development (since we don’t actually have AI as of yet) they’d:

    – Train Siri to comprehend complex questions, as is found in normal human speech, versus having to baby it with simple questions with only a single simple task requested.

    – Incorporate AirPlay whereby the ‘Siri speaker’ could send media from any device in the house to any other compatible device in the house. Siri would be a real ‘control hub’ for a home media network, directed solely by speech from individualized users. (Yes, it would be fun to have individuals fight over what tunes are played where, etc.)

    – Recognize children or other individuals who have controlled privileges, such as question limits, Internet surfing limits, media access limits, etc. Faking daddy or mommy’s voice wouldn’t fool Siri.

    – Add further humor. Yes, of course we want Siri to provide Knock, Knock jokes, just as Apple’s PlainTalk did for decades.

    – The ability to create scripts that could be incorporated into one’s particular Siri system, just like Apple’s PlainTalk did for decades.

    – Add the ability for Siri to use learning algorithms applied to individual users. This should NOT be used for the purpose of marketing crap to victimized users, unless of course the user approves it. Instead, it should be a method of providing anticipation of an individual user’s interests. Say, for example, that Apple Music now offers a new EP of tunes from a most favored artist within a user’s interest realm. Siri would offer to play the EP to the user. The effects of Siri anticipation could be quite elaborate. The anticipation database would have to be locked down encryption secure. No, the NSA can’t find out the wife’s favorite lingerie, etc.

    The future is always arriving…

  6. I have HomeKit and it is really buggy. As an example I have a lamp in a room scheduled to turn on at 9:30 mPM and turnoff at 9:45 pm. No matter what I try, its does all this but an hour and ten minutes earlier.I will not trust door locks on this equipment, or anything else for that matter. It is still an unfinished product

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