Sun, Sep 03, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Apple passes Siri to OS chief in sign of increased focus


Apple Inc has transferred responsibility for Siri, its voice assistant, from content chief Eddy Cue to operating systems chief Craig Federighi, a sign that the company is looking to embed the voice assistant more deeply into its core systems amid rising competition from Alphabet Inc’s Google and Inc.

Apple made the change in an update to the company’s executive biography pages.

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the change, but did not comment further.

Cue, a senior vice president, had overseen Siri since 2012 when Scott Forestall, Apple’s software chief at the time, was fired by chief executive officer Tim Cook.

Cue is primarily known as Apple’s chief content dealmaker, negotiating the company’s pivotal deals with record companies during the iTunes era and more recently its Apple Music streaming deals and television content efforts.

Cue also runs Apple’s Internet-based services such as iCloud.

However, Apple has embedded its voice assistant more deeply into its iOS and Mac OS, letting it control things like adding calendar appointments and expanded it from phones to laptops.

Siri controls third-party apps to do things like summon a ride or book a table.

Federighi, a senior vice president, oversees those operating systems.

The shift in Siri’s leadership comes as Apple faces increased competition to get users speaking to its devices.

Although Apple was the first major tech company to release a voice assistant in 2011, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s voice assistant have emerged to jostle for consumers’ attention.

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