Siri for Mac plans outed by Apple patent application

The iOS voice assistant appears headed to Mac with enhanced functionality in tow

Siri, the iOS digital assistant, has become one of the platform’s defining features in recent years, and has influenced similar offerings on rival devices. Now, Apple seems intent on bringing it to Mac.

A 92-page patent application filed by Apple last year (for an “Intelligent Digital Assistant in a Desktop Environment”) and posted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website yesterday reveals detailed plans to enable Siri within OS X, and allow users to perform many of the same kinds of functions as they can on iPhone and iPad.

As on mobile, Siri interprets your natural speech, but you can also activate the Mac version's capabilities via gestures - and depending on where the cursor is, Siri on Mac can perform different commands, such as transferring files between apps, copying a file or image, and organizing files within a folder.

However, the biggest enhancement may come from what’s described as “third hand” functionality - effectively the ability for Siri to perform tasks for you while you’re doing something else. As TechCrunch suggests, you might be able to instruct Siri to search for an appropriate image on the web while you actively build a presentation in Keynote.

Macs are more complex and powerful than iOS devices, and as such, Apple appears ready to scale Siri’s capabilities to better suit a desktop environment. Recent builds of OS X 10.10 Yosemite do not have Siri included, so this may well be a future addition - perhaps in 2015’s upgrade.

[Sources: USPTO, AppleInsider via TechCrunch]

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