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Apple buys voice app startup to boost Siri services

Image credit: Apple

Apple's HomePod may be one of the best sounding smart speakers on the market, but its actual voice controlled capabilities, powered by Siri, are sorely lacking when compared to the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa competition.

So news of a new Apple purchase in the area should come as little surprise, as Apple looks to firm up the capabilities of its smart controller for the future.

Apple has purchased the AI voice startup PullString, for a sum said to be just under the $100 million dollar mark.

Why PullString?

PullString has a strong background in working with voice enabled products, namely those in the childrens' and entertainment space.

For example, it provided the software heart for Mattell's talking Hello Barbie Doll – fitting, given that the company's CEO is Oren Jacob, Pixar's former technology officer and key talent on the Toy Story films.

While Apple hasn't been explicit about what its intentions for PullString are, it's almost certainly a Siri related acquisition. PullString is also known for working with brands behind the scenes to make skills and apps for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant respectively. With Siri's capabilities and library of apps paling in comparison to the breadth possible from its competition, its likely PullString will be set to work helping devs to build new voice services for iPhone and HomePod.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves his gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.