Apple is recruiting for someone to work on Siri for OS X, suggesting that the next version of the Mac operating system might feature the voice-activated assistant.

What is interesting about the job post, discovered by Apple Insider, is that it calls for "familiarity with Unix, especially Mac OS X" as well as for knowledge of the core of OS X - Apple's Cocoa - and at least one of the following: Android, Microsoft's C#, and Oracle's Java and C++. This is significant, as it indicates that this work will be developing the voice-activated assistant for OS X.

The successful candidate will be expanding the role of Siri as "an entire miniature OS within the OS," writes Apple in its job posting. Apple says it is looking for someone with a "passion for the Macintosh platform and writing simple, elegant software that is easy and fun to use".

Specifically the engineer will focus on Siri's conversational view, according to the post.

Apple introduced Dictation features to OS X with the launch of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on 25 July 2012. OS X 10.0.7 Lion launched a year earlier on 20 July 2011 so many are expecting Apple to launch a new version of the operating system this summer. However, There was a two-year gap between the release of Snow Leopard on 28 August 2009 and Lion so there could conceivably be a longer wait for the next version of OS X.

However, in recent weeks OS X 10.9 activity has increased, suggesting that the company is testing early builds.

Siri on the Mac

Would you use Siri on the Mac? Last summer when we asked if Macworld readers were using Siri on their iPhones, more than 60% said that they weren't. The reason: "It doesn't do anything useful" (24%), "It's too frustrating to get it to work" (21%) and "It never understands me" (15%).

Those who were using Siri said "It's handy when I need to be hands free" (19%), "Only when I'm showing off to friends" (11%) and "It's much easier than typing" (9%).

We spoke to Evi founder William Tunstall-Pedoe last year and he suggested that in the future speaking instructions will be the norm, rather than the exception.

We still find it hard to believe people will opt to speak instructions to their phone when out and about, let alone their Mac in a crowded office. 

New Apple software coming soon…

As we reported yesterday, Apple is also recruiting for iWork and iLife developers.  

A Siri-related job listing back in January suggested that Apple is working to give Siri an improved personality, and bring some new capabilities to the iOS voice-activated personal assistant.

Apple is also hiring new iOS software engineers to help it improve Maps. 

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter


Siri, Evi and a future where 'everything will be controlled by voice'

Apple hiring for 'imaginative and visionary' iLife and iWork designers