Apple acquires Siri, a personal assistant application for the iPhone
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Neither Siri nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.
To use Siri, users need only to type or say something into the iPhone app, and it will carry out the command or find answers to a question. If a user wants to find a romantic restaurant around Los Angeles, they can say (or type) what they're looking for and Siri will deliver some potential solutions.
The way Siri finds those solutions is quite innovative. Rather than simply search the Web for content, the app uses Application Programming Interfaces (API) from a slew of websites, including Twitter, Yelp and others, to tap into the appropriate site. In the case of a romantic restaurant, Siri accesses Yelp and other similar sites to find the best options.
Apple's decision to acquire Siri is likely a response to Google's recent acquisition of Aardvark, a service that answers user questions by soliciting help from other people around the globe. That said, Apple has yet to comment on the deal. Exactly what it has planned for the company is unknown.
Regardless, the development underscores Apple's willingness as of late to invest in companies that could bolster its mobile efforts and limit Google's rise in the mobile market.
Aside from its Siri acquisition, Apple bought Quattro earlier this year for $275 million. The acquisition of the mobile-ad firm was in direct response to Google's earlier acquisition of Quattro competitor Admob.
-- Don Reisinger