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WWDC 2013: Will Siri gain "cool new features" and lose her beta status in iOS 7?

By James Geddes , Jun 09, 2013 10:36 AM EDT
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When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S in October 2011, the 'S' stood for Siri. It was the single feature that made many consumers and current iPhone users upgrade to the 4S since the virtual assistant was exclusive to the device. It's been almost two years since Siri came into the world and she still remains in beta. Former Apple employees have stated that Steve Jobs would have lost his mind with the state that Siri is in and would never allow an Apple product to be released in beta form and have it to remain there for this long. Well, Siri might finally grow up and ditch her beta status in iOS 7.

When Apple debuted Siri to the world at the iPhone 4S event, it was a groundbreaking feature in the sense that the virtual assistant was able to understand natural language. Users didn't need to learn how to speak to Siri with special commands. It was another fine example of how Apple can take something as complex as voice recognition, wrap it up into a sassy virtual assistant, and create a new category in mobile computing. Virtual assistants on mobile devices were viewed as the next big thing in mobile computing. Soon Samsung, Google and Microsoft followed with their very own virtual assistants, but what still makes Siri stand out from its rivals is Siri has that special Apple magic touch that hasn't been achieved by rivals. She might not be the fastest or most accurate virtual assistant, but things might change come Monday, when Apple unveils iOS 7.

Tim Cook even hinted that Apple has grand plans for Siri and is "doubling down" on Siri's abilities while speaking at AllThingsD:

"Siri is one of the most popular features of iPhone 4S," Cook said. "But there's more that it can do, and we have a lot of people working on this. And I think you will be really pleased with some of the things you're going to see over the coming months. We have some cool ideas about what Siri can do. We have a lot going on on this. ... Sure, it can be broader, and so forth, but we see unbelievable potential here. We're doubling down on it."

Those statements seem to indicate that Apple is well aware that Siri hasn't grown up and matured as fast as the company would have liked and is lagging behind some her rivals like Google Now, Android's answer to Siri, or Samsung's S Voice.

If we are to believe Tim Cook's statements, it would appear that the coming months would belong to iOS 7. Tim Cook has already confirmed that Apple will be opening up parts of iOS to allow third party developers access to iOS APIs that have been strictly off limits so far. It seems like Siri might finally grow up, gain many cool new features, allowed to be integrated into third party apps, lose her beta status, and wow the world all over again. We'll have to wait a few more days to see if this comes to fruition, but Apple doesn't usually make statements like the ones Tim Cook made without backing them up.

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