As we all know, Siri, Apple’s now popular voice assistant, started out as a third-party iOS app. The story goes that Steve Jobs personally called up Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus one day and made an offer to buy his work and team. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Shortly after the iPhone 4S launched, Kittlaus left Apple for personal reasons, but a majority of his team stayed on. Today, however, it’s being reported that Adam Cheyer, another co-founder and member of the Siri team, has also recently decided to leave the company…
“Adam Cheyer, an engineer who helped build the Siri voice-recognition software that was acquired by Apple Inc, is no longer working for the iPhone maker, according to three people familiar with the situation.
Cheyer, a Siri co-founder and its former vice president of engineering, left recently after working in Apple’s mobile software group, said one of the people, who all asked not to be identified as the matter is confidential.”
Siri has been a bit of a double-edged sword for Apple thus far. On one hand, the feature has helped it sell a ton of iPhone 4S handsets. But on the other, it’s been the focus of a lot of criticism and even legal action. Some feel the feature doesn’t live up to Apple’s promises.
That being said, Tim Cook has confirmed that Apple has a lot of people working on Siri. Also, the company is about to roll out an update to the assistant that will allow it to answer more questions. And it’s even partnering with carmakers to integrate it into vehicles.
All told, it doesn’t seem like Siri was a bad investment for Apple, which was rumored to be in the neighborhood of $200 million. They have a great base, now they just need to start doing more with it. Oh, and it would help if they could keep team members from quitting.