Apple has reportedly agreed to buy Pullstring, a San Francisco-based startup that enables the design and publishing of voice apps.
Pullstring originally was used to power interactive voice apps for toys. It later broadened its approach with the introduction of such IoT products as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. The company is offering PullString Converse, an AI platform that empowers designers and developers to imagine, craft, and publish voice apps for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IoT devices. Converse lets designers focus on the creative aspects of crafting voice experiences, instead of the code. Converse handles the conversational AI.
According to Axios, Apple's deal value is said to be around $30 million, plus around $10 million in potential earn-outs for management.
Apple has been both Google and Amazon in terms of adoption of voice features by developers. Making it easier to write voice apps combined with a more open Siri could help close the gap.