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(Pocket-lint) - Siri might have been the first smart assistant to listen to mobile phone owners' requests, but now it's not alone. The witty responses of Siri to questions about the competition aren't enough to keep users happy anymore. That in mind Apple has bought a voice recognition company to help improve Siri.

With Microsoft's Cortana and the ever-improving Google Now on Android, Apple's Siri needs to be better than ever. Apple has reportedly bought Novauris to be just that.

READ: Cortana to be unveiled as Microsoft's version of Siri

Novauris started working on voice recognition tech back in 2002 when core employees of dictation specialist Dragon split off to start their own venture. These were mainly R&D members so the software they have been working on all these years is key to improving Siri's intelligent voice recognition and understanding.

In response to questions about the purchase Apple responded: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Apple nearly always rolls out the old: "Apple does not comment on rumour or speculation" line, making this a pretty telling response.

Apple is also reportedly working on greater Siri integration across third-party apps. This is something Microsoft launched Cortana with the ability to do, like controlling Facebook from a simple voice command. The race for total voice control across a smartphone and all its apps is on.

READ: Apple's Siri voice assistant to add more third-party integrations, says report

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Writing by Luke Edwards.