Apple has applied for a patent (number 20160335532) for a “virtual assistant in a communication session” that hints at the integration of Siri, the “personal digital assistant,” into Messages. According to the invention, one or more participating users can choose to utilize a virtual assistant (that would be Siri, of course) to assist participant users with tasks during a communication session.
A user can use a communication application to enter a message directed to the virtual assistant. Siri can analyze the entered message and determine that the message was directed to the virtual assistant rather than to the other participants of the communication session. As a result, the message won’t be transmitted to the other participants of the communication session and the virtual assistant will assist the user with the identified task.
Apple says a virtual assistant can assist a user with a variety of different tasks. One such task would be to assist in performing a financial transaction among multiple participant users of a communication session. Siri could determine the financial applications available and/or utilized by each of the participant users and recommend a financial application to perform the financial transaction.
Apple has also been granted a patent (number 20160336127) for a “low-travel key mechanism for an input device.” It involves the keyboards on the 12-inch MacBook and the new MacBook Pros.