Analyst: No Siri for OS X 10.9

Apple's Siri voice control system is already available in iOS 6 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but don't expect to see it show up in OS X 10.9. That's according to Ezra Gottheil from Technology Business Report who thinks Apple will have to update Mac hardware before OS X can support Siri.

Apple probably doesn't have plans to bring Siri to OS X 10.9Apple probably doesn't have plans to bring Siri to OS X 10.9

Part of the issue, according to Mr. Gottheil, is that Macs have a single microphone, where the iPhone sports multiple mics to better filter out background noise. "Siri would require hardware modifications as well as software," he said.

He added that while Apple has offered ever since iOS 6 was introduced, it's Google that's bringing legitimacy to voice controlled interfaces. According to Computerworld, he said,

Google Now legitimizes this interface. Apple has a lead in a clearly protectable arena, but [Google Now] legitimizes voice, sort of like when Microsoft legitimized the graphic user interface when it borrowed it from Apple, and when Apple borrowed it from [Xerox] PARC.

The idea that it's hardware limitations keeping Siri off the Mac for now, however, is a hard pill to swallow. Even before OS X and Apple's switch to Intel processors, Macs could handle some speech recognition, and software has been on the market for years that lets Mac users control their computers with their voice.

Rapid Repair CEO Aaron Vronko pointed out that most of Siri's horespower comes from Apple's own servers and not built-in chips, and that Macs are probably in quieter locations more often than our cell phones. "When you're talking [to Siri] on an iPhone, you're often in a car or in a crowd," he said.

If Apple isn't bringing Siri to OS X 10.9, it's more likely that the company doesn't thing the time is right to add the feature. Currently, APple's engineers are working on getting OS X 10.9 and iOS 7 ready to preview at June's Worldwide Developers Conference, and a nonworking version of Siri on the Mac wouldn't go over well at the event.

Apple could also have other plans for Siri on the Mac, such as making it a feature that's exclusive to future models, or the company may think that Siri is a more personal technology and doesn't have a place in an office full of Macs where workers would all be talking to their computers at the same time.

It's also possible that Siri on the Mac has been put on hold while Apple pushes to get iOS 7 ready for a fall launch. Industrial Design vice president Jonathan Ive has apparently shifted engineers from OS X 10.9 to iOS 7 to keep the project on shedule, and with fewer coders working on Mountain Lion's repalcement, there's a good chance some planned features are now on hold.

In other words, there are plenty of reasons why Apple will likely exclude Siri from OS X 10.9, but hardware limitations isn't one of them.

Apple plans to give users and developers a preview look at iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 at WWDC in June, so we'll have a better idea then of what to expect when both roll out later this year -- but don't hold your breath for Siri on the Mac just yet.