“For much of the iPhone’s first decade, the main canvas for developers has been its touchscreen: the face that launched a thousand apps,” Tim Bradshaw reports for The Financial Times. “As Apple’s smartphone reaches its tenth anniversary, the company is starting to open up the iPhone’s ears and eyes to new apps too.”
“At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next week, the company is expected to up its game against Amazon’s voice-controlled Alexa and Google’s advances in computer vision, with new outlets for its own talking helper Siri and an overhaul of its iOS operating system,” Bradshaw reports. “While recent previous annual gatherings of app makers have focused on software and services, Monday’s opening keynote address, led by Tim Cook, chief executive, could also see Apple unveil new hardware, including a Siri-powered hi-fi to compete head-on with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home.”
Some analysts say that “one of Apple’s biggest causes for concern should be that its customers are not saying very much to Siri,” Bradshaw reports. “In some situations, whispering into an iPhone’s ear can be a faster way to complete a task than tapping on a touchscreen.
But Siri faces the same challenge as other virtual assistants. While app icons are laid out on a display, it can be hard for consumers to know what a voice-based assistant can do. If users receive too many confounding replies, they tend to stop asking questions altogether.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in June 2016:
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.
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