Siri to become smarter-opens up to third-party apps

14 Jun 2016 | By Ramya

Apple announced that it was opening Siri-Apple's digital assistant to third-party applications and even advance its Artificial Intelligence to compete against its rivals like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Reportedly, the feature would let iPhone users to connect to other non-Apple services for messaging, making payments, searching photos, etc.

Marking a new approach, Apple made the announcement at its annual developer conference in San Francisco.

In context: Siri's massive makeover

Introduction What is Siri?

Siri, a digital personal assistant, is a part of Apple's operating systems–iOS, watchOS, and tvOS; there are several gender and accent combinations available.

Using natural language user interface, Siri answers questions and performs actions; it adapts to a user's individual languages, searches, preferences, etc. with continuing use.

Siri was released on 4 Oct'11, as a feature on iPhone 4S.

Acquisition Apple acquires Siri to be ahead of rivals

Siri was initially an iOS app by Siri Inc that was available in the App store.

It was announced that Siri Inc would also make their app available for BlackBerry and Android phones.

But on 28 April 2010, Apple Inc acquired Siri Inc followed by the cancellation of all developmental efforts for non-Apple platforms.

Reportedly, Apple had paid over $200 million to acquire Siri.

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Important developments of Siri

2012-15Important developments of Siri

In 2012, with iOS 5.1.1's release, Siri was added to third-generation iPad; later, all Apple hardware, including 5th generation iPod gained Siri's support.

In 2013, Apple stated that Siri would include a gender option.

In 2015, "Hey Siri" voice activation was added to iPhone 6 and 6S when the device wasn't being charged.

Siri was also integrated into Apple's watchOS, and CarPlay (some cars).

Siri's vision not hasn't fully materialized

When Siri was introduced in 2011, it had signaled a future of users completing tasks or finding information on their devices only through voice commands rather than tapping or typing. But, somehow that vision hasn’t completely materialized.

14 Jun 2016Siri to become smarter-opens up to third-party apps

Languages available

Siri currently supports the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.
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Apple's MoveApple Maps would also use third-party services

Apple has always kept its services mostly self-contained on the iOS operating system, but this time, Apple decided to extend its services to other apps.

Siri's latest feature is expected to debut in the iOS10 platform that would be released later this year.

Apple Maps app, released in 2012, would also be opened to outside developers; it could use third-party app services too.

Siri can work with other apps

Craig Federighi, Apple’s Vice-President, said, "Now you'll be able to tell Siri to send a WeChat (Chinese messaging app)." He added that Siri would also work with other apps like WhatsApp, Slack, Lyft, Uber, etc.

CompetitionImproving services amid competition

Apple's aiming to move much deeper into services as iPhones' profits have slowed down and the iPads' sales have decreased.

The company also said that Siri would soon be available on Mac computers to allow Mac OS users to search with voice commands.

This could expand Siri's footprint, which is facing severe competition from AI services like Google Now, Amazon's Alexa, and Microsoft's Cortana.

26 Jan 2017Siri to update IPL scores in iOS 10

Apple has begun the roll-out of the iOS10.3 beta. Among the updates, Siri will now be able to provide updates of live cricket scores from the IPL.

In addition, Siri will also be able to access statistics and rankings from the IPL and ICC and provide users with cricket trivia.

Another much needed update on iOS10.3 is the ability to locate lost airpods.