After ten years, Apple is letting devices that aren’t first-party to use Siri, its voice assistant. Sometime in the near future, Siri will be available on HomeKit appliances outside the Apple family, though you’ll still need some Apple products in your setup.
The announcement was made during the reveal of iOS 15 at this year’s WWDC. “We believe Siri’s most powerful when it’s available throughout your house, which is why we’re excited to bring Siri to third-party devices,” Yah Cason, release automation manager for Apple HomeKit, said during the keynote, below. “For the first time, HomeKit accessory-makers can enable Siri in their products, so you’ll be able to talk with Siri on even more devices.”
This isn’t to say you’ll be able to just download Siri to whatever smart devices you own. You’ll need a HomePod, or HomePod Mini, to essentially broadcast Siri to other compatible appliances within range. It’s unclear if this is an exclusive feature of the HomePod, and Apple didn’t provide any suggestion of exactly what products or brands can handle Siri whenever this rolls out.
We also didn’t get a release date, but it’s going to start being available before the end of the year. As these digital assistants become more ubiquitous, Apple seems keen to make sure you have at least one of its products in your home setup.