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Apple CEO on friending Facebook, educating Siri and killing Ping

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook talks at the All Things Digital conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday.Asa Mathat / All Things Digital via Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for an in-depth interview during the All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Tuesday. Cook discussed where Apple's been and — more importantly — where it's going. He also slipped in some hints about the future of Siri, the doom of Ping, and a potential relationship between Apple and Facebook.

Cook started his conversation with his hosts, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, by declaring that he has never been as amazed by "all the things [he] cannot talk about" right now. "The juices are flowing and we have some incredible things coming out," he explained.

While Cook touched on a range of topics, including Apple's manufacturing plans, during the interview, my ears twitched when he mentioned good ol' Ping. 

Ping — iTunes Ping, to use its proper name — is a social network of sorts that's baked into Apple's desktop media player software. The feature was not received particularly well by most users, who criticized its limited availability, the prevalence of fake celebrity accounts, the removal of Facebook integration, and initial waves of spam. 

When asked about what happened to Ping, Cook explained that it seems as if the average customer is saying that it "isn’t something that [he or she wants] to put a lot of energy into."

"Will we kill it? I don't know. We'll look at that," he remarked before host Swisher quipped that Apple could "totally sell [Ping] to Google+."

While it sounds as if Ping is doomed, there is potentially brighter news when it comes to other social network integration. Cook remarked that "Facebook is a great company" and that he has "great appreciation for them."

“We have great respect for them," he emphasized, again." I think we can do more with them. Just stay tuned on this one.”  

Sounds like Facebook and Apple might be changing their relationship status settings at some point in the near future. Hopefully the social network won't get jealous of all the attention Apple is giving Siri, the personal assistant built into the latest generation iPhone, though. Because Siri is definitely here to stay for a while.

“Customers love it. It’s one of the most popular features of iPhone 4S," Cook told Swisher and Mossberg. "But there’s more that it can do, and we have a lot of people working on this. And I think you will be really pleased with some of the things you’ll see over the coming months on this. We have some cool ideas about what Siri can do. We have a lot going on on this.”

You can catch up on other details from Cook's interview on the All Things Digital website, where Ina Fried has  compiled plenty of notes, quotes and pictures.

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