Apple will 'double down' on Siri, says CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook told an audience in California this week that Apple had a 'lot of people' working on a new version of Siri. 

Tim Cook discusses Siri, the voice-activated iPhone app, at an Apple event in March.

Apple will "double down" on Siri, the voice-activated app introduced last year. So says Apple CEO Tim Cook, who told an audience at the annual All Things D Conference yesterday that Siri was the "defining feature" on the best-selling iPhone 4S

"[T]here's more that it can do, and we have a lot of people working on it," Cook said, according to Information Week. "And I think you'll be really pleased with some of the things coming over the coming months. The breadth of it. We have a lot that Siri can do. People have dreamed of this for years, and it's here. Yes it could be broader, but Siri as a feature has moved into the mainstream. So I think you're going to be really happy with where it's going."

From the outset, Siri was hailed by critics as a milestone for Apple – an "intelligent" computer assistant with "great potential." But there were a few high-profile stumbles, including an early outage and a flap over the filter, which apparently excluded results for abortion clinics. More recently, IBM banned Siri on company-issue phones. The reason: Apple has not disclosed whether or where it stores data collected from Siri searches. 

So what kind of improvements does Cook have in mind? Well, Apple is staying mum on the details, but it seems safe to say that at very least, we're looking at a patching-up of the various interface errors that have affected the app in the past. We also expect an advance in Siri's "intelligence" – in other words, the effectiveness and speed with which Siri answers your questions. 

Lastly, we'd wager that Apple is planning on more deeply integrating voice-controls into the overall iPhone experience, perhaps as soon as this fall, when the next iPhone is expected to hit shelves. 

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