Apple's Siri application, which acts like a virtual personal assistant allowing iPhone 4S users to give run phone functions and applications with voice commands, has been heralded by people around the globe who say that it's one of the most useful and appealing products they've tried in quite some time.
Siri is especially important for Apple. Although the technology itself is nothing new, there are no other products in the wild that perform all of its many functions as effectively as Siri does. More importantly, its chief competitors in the mobile space, including Google, Microsoft, and RIM, have nothing of their own that they can point to as a strong competitor.
But Siri's value to Apple goes beyond the mobile space. The technology could prove vastly important to Apple's future, and could very well become an integral component in nearly all the products it sells in the coming years. Read on below to find out why Siri is so important to Apple and its future.
1. It appeals to the enterprise
Apple's iOS hasn't always been the most appealing mobile software for the enterprise. The operating system, many companies believe, is still too consumer-focused to make it work in their operations. But with Siri, that could change. As noted, it's a virtual personal assistant, which means it lets users send e-mails, instant-message friends and set reminders with only their voice. Siri might just be the application enterprise users have been waiting for on iOS.
2. It's a competitive advantage
Looking around the mobile space, one will find that Apple is the only operating system maker that has been able to launch a voice-command service that works as well as the average consumer or enterprise user would expect. On Android, for example, there are several voice-command services, but they're third-party apps that don't work all that well. Google's voice-command application doesn't impress too many consumers either. Siri is different. That's an advantage that could help Apple sell many more iPhones.
3. Can it make its way to Mac OS X?
There is some speculation that Siri could be making its way to Mac OS X. Although Apple won't confirm that, it seems like the next logical step for the software. Siri is something that can work on several different platforms, and should not be tied to the mobile space. By bringing it to Mac OS X, Apple can finally show that it knows how to deliver voice commands far more effectively than Microsoft. The software giant has tried numerous times in the past, but so far, all of its efforts have fallen short (more on that in a moment).
4. It could control Apple's future television
According to the latest rumors, Apple is planning to launch a television either late next year or in early 2013 that would come with Siri installed. If that happens, Siri could revolutionize how people interact with TVs. Currently, consumers rely upon remotes to flip through channels and turn up the volume on a show. But with Siri, Apple could make enjoying entertainment all about the voice. It's a neat concept that could pay off in huge dividends in the future.