Report: Next Apple TV will go up against Amazon Echo →

Jordan Novet at VentureBeat:

Apple is working on its answer to Amazon’s Echo, the voice-activated assistant packaged inside a speaker, but it may come in the form of a refreshed Apple TV, rather than a new hardware product, VentureBeat has learned.

The company will build on its enhancements to the Apple TV announced last year, which brought the Siri virtual assistant to the set-top box. A new version of the Apple TV will solve problems with the existing box and remote control, a source familiar with the matter claims.

“They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything,” the source told VentureBeat.

While an improved Siri experience on the Apple TV would be nice, the idea that the Apple TV could evolve into an always-ready assistant misses the mark for me.

Why should a home assistant be tied to the television? I can put an Echo in my bedroom or even outside on the porch, where I don’t have TVs. Even if I had a TV in the kitchen where my Echo sits today, I wouldn’t want it on all the time just so I can ask Siri a question.

The Echo is perfectly suited to be in the kitchen, where every day tasks making interacting with a phone or watch more difficult. From what I’ve heard from other Echo users, I’m not alone in thinking that.

I just don’t buy this being a viable product strategy, and I hope Apple doesn’t either.