Siri, Google Now, and the End of Apps | MIT Technology Review
: "If Siri gets more powerful people will have little use for many apps. A job ad posted by Apple for a UI engineer to work on Siri nicely summarizes the potential of its virtual assistant, and Google’s closest equivalent, Google Now, to redefine how we use mobile devices: “Consider it an entire miniature OS [operating system] within the OS.” The implication is that rather than being an app used in certain circumstances, Siri should be thought of a general purpose tool to achieve just about anything. I suspect the people in charge of Google Now’s development have similar ideas. Virtual helpers conceived along those lines could transform how people get stuff done with a smartphone, and remove the need for them to interact with the apps and websites they must turn to today. Right now, Apple and Google’s operating systems are platforms on top of which the things a person needs sit. Achieving something involves a collection of apps, and often the Web, that users customize. The operating system just makes it possible to go to the places you need to go. If Apple and Google make their virtual assistants really work, that could be replaced by a much more centralized approach. Want something? Ask Siri or turn to Google Now and they’ll do the work of dealing with all those Web pages and apps for you."
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