Apple Inc. has acquired a British startup that specialises in automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology, IBTimes has reported. Novauris Technologies is now working to enhance the abilities of Siri, the personal assistant app on the iOS platform. Novauris’ technology works on-device, meaning it could help Siri work offline, as well as speed up response time. Apple debuted Siri in 2011 with the iPhone 4S, but has since been surpassed in functionality by Google Now, which provides predictive information based on Google searches and works offline. Siri is also expected to face even more competition from Microsoft’s announced assistant, Cortana, which is still in beta. Apple is likely to announce an update along with other improvements to iOS in June at the annual World Wide Developers Conference.