During its more than two-hour keynote that kicked off the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple covered a ton of new updates to its four major software platforms—iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. But above all else, it was the upgrades to the company’s digital assistant, Siri, that truly stood out as potentially the most impactful improvements to Apple’s suite of products.
You can’t even argue at this point that Siri has really lagged behind as far as digital assistants are concerned. Despite getting a several years head start on Google and Amazon, Apple saw its lead in the voice robot market get quickly overtaken by Amazon’s Alexa and more recently Google Assistant. Those two competitive digital voice assistants made their way onto speakers and gobbled up almost all of the marketshare faster than you could say, “Steve Jobs.”
But it wasn’t just market share that Google and Amazon had control of over Apple. They also developed digital assistant systems that were much smarter and more capable than Siri, and in nearly half the time. It was a very un-Apple-like experience. They got the jump on a technology and rather than setting the tone for the marketplace, they seemingly didn’t know what to do with Siri and let her fall behind.