Every Apple user who dislikes Siri and the company’s Maps app, prepare to grind your teeth a little harder: current rumors suggest that the voice-activated “digital assistant” and the recently launched mapping application will both appear in OS X 10.9, the next version of Apple’s desktop-and-laptop operating system.
It’s unclear whether Apple, should it integrate Siri into its next-generation operating system, will also make the software available on older versions of Mac OS X. “Siri on iOS devices is tied specifically to certain, newer iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches,” read the posting on Apple rumor blog 9to5Mac. “However, Dictation, which uses a similar infrastructure and hardware resources as Siri, is available on all Macs capable of running Mountain Lion, the current Mac operating system that introduced Dictation.”
Apple’s Maps app attracted some controversy soon after its release as part of iOS 6. Previous to its creation, Apple had relied on Google’s mapping data, but the growing acrimony between the two tech giants may have driven Apple to build its own platform. However, the Apple Maps app launched with far less cartographical data than Google’s version, which led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth within the various forums devoted to everything Apple.
If Siri and Maps do end up as part of Mac OS X, it would reinforce how mobile truly drives Apple. This wouldn’t be the first time that a software feature introduced for iOS found its way onto Mac OS X: Apple adapted the App Store, which proved a massive hit for the company, from iOS to Mac OS X. At the same time, Apple’s designers and engineers have worked diligently to slim and lighten its laptops, making them ever more portable—even if it means chucking hardware features such as optical drives.
Apple faces some hardy competition this holiday season on a number of fronts. Google is making a concerted play for the hardware market with a portfolio of new tablets, including the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, while Microsoft’s Surface spearheads a generation of Windows 8 tablets and PCs. But whether those are enough to wrestle away some of Apple’s public gleam—much less its profits—remains to be seen.