Trouble is brewing at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA. Yes, that’s the home of Apple Inc. since way back in the day, back when Apple Computer, Inc. was synonymous with the Mac. Today Apple is a mobile device company, and has come down hard on the side of hardware. If there’s an Apple product that seems to be getting the short end of the product development stick it’s the Mac. Even veteran Mac users are gushing over a new non-Mac notebook. ‘Dude. You’re getting a Dell.’
Maybe it’s just me, but others in the Apple Watching Industry™ think maybe Apple’s famed creativity, innovation, and market disruption techniques have run out of ideas for the Mac. Thinner, lighter, faster? Is that the best we can get from new Macs?
With my tongue planted deeply in my cheek, and my Devil’s advocated pyramid hat firmly in place, let’s see what Apple has in store for the Mac, circa 2016.
Siri – Apple is as much about sizzle as steak and Siri was a sizzle a few years ago but just hasn’t grown up to take on new responsibilities. Yet, here we are, waiting for Apple to announce Siri on the Mac and the 2016 WWDC.
Siri on a Mac? Every Mac needs to come with iPhone earbuds because we cubicle farm dwellers are about to hear lots of noise, arguments, and snarky responses emanating from Macs of the near future.
Siri: Kate, do you want me to take dictation and send a message to Wil? He hasn’t called in days. Do you want to know how many days, Kate?
Kate: Shut up, Siri.
Yes, it looks like we’ll be conversing with our Macs and perhaps in ways we do not with our iPhones.
Kate: Siri, download all the new photos from my iPhone to my Mac.
Siri: Even the ugly ones?
What we want to see in Siri for the Mac is more than what Siri does for the iPhone. For example– and lets hope Apple has been working on more deeply integrating Siri into OS X 10.12 Sequoia– how about telling Siri to backup your Mac using SuperDuper!? Telling Siri to play specific songs from iTunes seems so menial. We all want Siri to do more.
Kate: Siri, connect Transmit to remote server Jersey City (I name my remote storage devices, don’t you?).
Let’s say you’ve downloaded some new photos from your iPhone into Photos on the Mac and now you want to enhance them. Normally, you’d put the photo into Photoshop or whatever other photo enhancement app you use. Why can’t Siri do that?
Kate: Siri, put this photo into Photoshop and run the Action ‘Kate Mac Alpha Zeta.’
Siri should be integrated into Mail and Safari as well as Contacts, Calendar, and many other apps we know and use daily. That’s all well and good and a natural extension of Siri’s roots from the iPhone, but what we truly, madly, deeply want is for Siri to become a digital companion that asks questions and does not just live like an onscreen gopher that does our digital bidding.
Yes, Siri on the Mac is crazy, but there’s potential that goes beyond a cubicle farm of Mac users listening to Siri speak this or that (honestly, I can’t be the only one to see a problem with a chatty Siri in schools, offices, cubicle farms, meetings, etc.). The secret sauce I want to see is interaction; a conversation, not necessarily among equals, but as we would interact with a very efficient and mildly snarky assistant with a colorful personality.
Siri on the Mac is coming, and it’s just another step toward mankind facing off against our computer network overlord with a cute personality and a very distinct voice.