Third Party Developers can work with Siri – Apple
At this year’s WWDC the company announced it will be letting developers use Siri’s Voice functionality into their apps. This will enable users to tap into third party services simply saying ‘Hey Siri’. Third party integrations have already been there with a few limitations. Earlier Siri could perform lookups via Yelp or search for content on Twitter but the new capabilities are just endless,once developers start plugging their services directly into the voice interface.
On stage at WWDC today Apple gave the example of sending a “WeChat to say you’ll be five minutes late” to illustrate how the capability could be used. “Now in iOS 10 we have an intense API,” noted Apple’s SVP Craig Federighi. “In iOS 10, Siri is going to be able to do so much more.“
“It works great in the car as well,” added Federighi, referencing CarPlay during an on-stage demo of Siri’s expanded capabilities.
The iOS 10 users can call up app services via Siri-like the Communications App Slack and Whatsapp, ride booking with Uber, Lyft, and Didi, Photo search apps like EyeEm and Pinterest, Workout and Fitness Apps like Runtastic and Runkeeper, Make payments to friends using apps like Number 26 and Venmo and Voip calling via apps like Skype and Viber.
Siri was launched in the year 2011, back then Apple had a very tight control over app integration and core voice integration technology which could often be hit-and-miss have hampered its utility and therefore its usage. There have many players in this space for instance Amazon’s Alexa which already lets users order an Uber.
Creator of Siri Dag Kittlaus, who left Apple about after his startup was acquired, had presented his next-gen voice assistant tech, Viv, at TechCrunch Disrupt New York. He has ambitions for the tech to be a control panel for all sort of devices and apps in the future. Google also continues to combine user-data-mining plus AI to push the development and convenience of its own virtual assistant tech. Even social giants like Facebook are putting efforts into building their own AI-fueled assistants. Pressure for Apple to accelerate the evolution of Siri is clear.
Apple has always focused in the past to differentiate its approach on the virtual assistant front is user privacy. Though it remains to be seen what sort of measures Apple will take to safeguard the privacy of the users as it opens Siri to third-party developers, via the new SiriKit.
At the WWDC Apple also demonstrated the extended capabilities for Siri on the Apple TV, allowing users to call up videos they want to watch on YouTube by asking Siri to find them. It was also announced that Siri will be incorporated in the newly named macOS allowing users of its desktop computers to tap the voice assistant to do things like send messages and find files, as well as serving up its customary tasks.
There were rumours about Apple launching its own Amazon Echo style voice assistant hardware at this year’s WWDC, to provide an in-home housing for Siri. Though no new Siri shell was forthcoming, WWDC is dev focused so new consumer hardware would be more appropriately unboxed at one of Apple’s fall or spring launch events.