Siri and HomeP
When Apple announced the Siri intelligent personal assistant in 2011, it made a big splash in terms of bringing awareness of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the larger consumer market. But since then, ongoing development at the company has been comparatively moribund in contrast to the lightning-fast technology evolution from competitors like Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft's Cortana.
The newly unveiled Siri enhancements don't seem like they'll move the needle much for the company either. Language translation, for example, is nice when the data source is understood by the service. But Siri's fundamental comprehension capabilities remain subpar. As a personal anecdote. While I blather at my Android smartphones and tablet all the time nowadays, and my wife and I both regularly chat at the various Amazon Echos scattered around our house, she's pretty much thrown in the towel on Siri both on her iPhone 5S and iPad 3 (in favor, ironically, of both the Google Search and Maps apps for iOS).
Maybe this explains why Siri support was low on the feature list when Apple announced HomePod, its venture into the smart speaker space currently dominated by the Amazon Echo and Google Home. But while supposedly superior sound is all well and good, at $349 HomePod will cost around twice what you'd pay for an Amazon Echo ($179), and about three times the price of Google Home ($109 at a slight discount). Not to mention the fact that, like the iMac Pro, the HomePod is not scheduled to ship until at least December.
Amazon rolled out the initial Echo in November 2014 (with even cheaper family members following it) and Google followed with Home mid-last year. Late to market? Overpriced? Yeah, sure, this is all going to end well...