Citing “reliable sources” 9to5Mac claims that early builds of Apple’s next major Mac OS release, OS X 10.9, has Maps and Siri baked right into the system. This is in accordance with Apple’s recent trend of bringing iOS features to the Mac, as seen in the past two major releases of OS X.
Since these are early builds of the OS, Apple may choose to not ship some of these features, if it feels that they aren’t ready for prime time.
From 9to5Mac’s report:
It is currently uncertain if Siri will be available, if it goes past the early testing stages, in OS X 10.9 for all users. Siri on iOS devices is tied specifically to certain, newer iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, so it is possible that Apple will make a similar decision for Siri on the Mac. However, Dictation, which uses a similar infrastructure and hardware resources as Siri, is available on all Macs capable of running Mountain Lion, the current Mac operating system that introduced Dictation.
In addition to that, Apple plans to integrate its so-far criticized and controversial mapping service into OS X as a framework for developers, according to people familiar with early testing. Like on iOS devices, if the feature moves past early testing, developers will be able to embed a map into their applications for the Mac App Store.
Mapping services would be exposed to OS X developers via the MapKit framework, as done on iOS. While it’s likely that Apple would like to build its own mapping app on top of the MapKit framework, 9to5Mac hasn’t heard about this yet from its sources. While a mapping app isn’t as essential on a desktop as it is on a mobile device, it sure will spawn a new class of apps in the Mac App Store that take advantage of this framework.
It’s important to note that both these services have drawn sharp criticism from a number of iOS users over their half baked status, and inability to function effectively for all use cases. According to rumors, the criticism of these products said to be one of the contributors to Scott Forstall’s dismissal. Currently, both Maps and Siri are under the overview of Eddie Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services.
Maps and Siri expanding from iOS to OS X fits in well with Apple’s theory of making leadership changes to “increase collaboration across hardware, software and services.”
Mountain Lion was previewed to developers in February and released to the public in July. If Apple follows this pattern going ahead, we can expect a preview of OS X 10.9 to be released in the next few months. The OS has already started leaving footprints in analytics software used by various sites, indicating that it’s actively in development.