Apple is embarking on an extensive hiring drive to improve the much-maligned, but little-used, Siri voice app, it has emerged.
Over the Easter weekend, the tech giant posted notices for 12 positions for devs, designers and user-experience dons to work on the voice commands app-cum-digital assistant.
Among these is sawdust-dry sounding vacancy for a 'Speech Operations Engineer', whose remit is to improve the infrastructure of the servers that process iPhone owners’ Siri requests.
Sexier by far, though, and much more interesting for us real-world types, are the openings for three 'Siri Software Engineers' to help “build out new areas of expertise for Siri, expanding the product’s capabilities for millions of users”, suggesting that the next version will pack hitherto-unseen features.
And similarly tantalasing in terms of what changes to Siri will mean for us is the post of 'Siri Interaction Designer'.
Snare this role and you’ll be charged with improving Siri’s "capabilities, knowledge, and intelligence” and “helping invent new techniques for conversational interaction”. All of which sounds like we’ve got a chattier robot friend in store for us with the next version of iOS, possibly one that does a better impression of a real-life human being.
News of Apple’s plans come after separate reports suggested that the next iPhone will be home to a “killer software feature”, amid claims from some quarters that the iOS operating system is starting to look a bit tired.
But while an overhauled version of Siri would be welcome, it’s surely to be hoped that whatever Apple has in store for us is something wholly new rather than a reheated version of an app that debuted back in 2011.