Apple Could Launch Siri SDK For Developers At WWDC, Build Amazon Echo Rival

It can be argued that Apple kicked off the digital assistant craze nearly five years ago when it baked Siri into iOS 5 and promoted it as a major feature of the iPhone 4S, but it's Amazon's Echo that everyone is gunning for. Google's taking a direct approach with Google Home, a Wi-Fi connected smart speaker, and apparently so will Apple, which also might open up Siri to app developers by releasing a software development kit (SDK).

The latter is the more immediate step Apple is considering, according to a paywalled report by The Information, which cites "a person with direct knowledge of the effort." Developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri will have their chance following Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month. This will bring parity in that regard to Amazon, Google, and Viv, the latter of which is next-generation virtual assistant developed by the creators of Siri.


Releasing the SDK would be a major move for Apple. As it currently stands, Siri can tap into several third party services, but those are the result of individual deals with companies. An SDK would allow any developer to leverage Siri, and it would be up to them to make sure everything works properly.

Taking things a step further, the report also says Apple is working on a hardware device similar to Echo. The effort isn't a knee-jerk reaction to the Echo's success, but is actually something Apple's been working on since before Echo arrived a year ago.

Like Echo, whatever Apple's cooking up will also be a smart speaker with an Internet connection. It will have support for AirPlay and be deeply integrated with HomeKit, Apple's smart home framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories, such as lights, locks, thermostats, smart plugs, and more.