A new report this morning from 9to5Mac claims that Apple will be delivering a couple of very interesting features to the desktop, in a move that continues the trend of making its traditional computers more closely resemble its iOS-based devices withe every release of OS X. “Reliable sources” told the blog that early builds of OS X 10.9 include Siri voice commands, and hints that Maps could arrive on Macs, too.
Siri made its way to iPads in iOS 6, and Dictation recently arrived on Mac hardware courtesy of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Siri coming to the desktop would be a next logical step, especially as Apple continues to make efforts to improve its accuracy and build out its feature set. As with any service that gets better with use, more widespread availability is a logical goal, once you’re certain you can address scaling issues. Apple is building out massive data centers, suggesting it’s doing its best to ensure cloud-based services like Siri can handle ever-growing traffic.
Apple also intends to make its Maps offering a part of the OS X framework for application developers, according to 9to5’s sources. There’s also a possibility that it could come to OS X as a full-fledged native app, but there’s no confirmation of that. The decision to include Maps in OS X makes a lot of sense, despite its poor reception on iOS devices. That’s because of a point Nokia made very clear at its unveiling of its own Here mapping service: Namely, any maps software depends heavily on user input to be effective at this point. So, like Siri, it would help improve the service by making it available on Macs, thereby extending its potential audience and user base. Plus, on the Mac, making it available to developers and users is all upside; there’s no one default mapping service on OS X like there was on iOS to replace, so you run very little risk of frustrating users.
Apple is thought to be working on 10.9 according to information found in server logs registering website visitors. The company seems to be sticking to a more or less annual cycle with its major OS releases in recent years, so if they stick to that, we’ll know more about what’s definitely coming in 10.9 by WWDC in June, if not before.