Theoretical improvements: The status of Siri in iOS 12

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The iPhone's home button could be going away.
Siri should be a lot smarter.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of Mac In the battle of digital voice assistants, people often mock Siri for lagging behind competing products from Amazon and Google. During Monday’s WWDC 2018 keynote, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, glossed over those failings, calling Siri the “world’s most-used digital assistant.”

What he neglected to mention was the increasing frustration of Siri users expecting more from a voice assistant. From simple requests returning inaccurate results to the inability to performthat he compound actions, Siri was in desperate need of attention going into WWDC. But will the Siri upgrades in iOS 12 do the trick?

The future of Siri [Kahney’s Korner]

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Kahney’s Korner podcast with ArcTouch
ArcTouch devs Adam Fingerman and Paulo Michels give us a peek into the future of Siri.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has opened up Siri to third-party developers, which means we’ll soon be able to do a bunch of things — like ordering pizza or sending money — simply by speaking to Apple’s intelligent assistant.

It’s a big change, and another step toward a friction-free future in which we will talk to our devices instead of poking at them with our fingers.

In this week’s episode of Kahney’s Korner, I talk with Adam Fingerman and Paulo Michels of ArcTouch, a mobile development company that works with big media companies like ABC, NBC and CBS. As they’ve explored the Siri API, they’ve gained insight into what we can expect when iOS 10 and macOS Sierra get released to the public this fall.

Siri comes to Mac and opens up to developers

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Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Photo: Apple

Big changes are coming to Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice-activated assistant. For the first time, Siri will be available on the Mac and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.

While Siri was one of the first voice-controlled AI assistants on the market, it’s fallen behind competitors like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Now, largely because it was a closed system that worked only in Apple’s apps. Opening it to developers makes it much more functional, and presents a more serious challenge to upstarts like Viv that promise to help with a wide range of services and tasks.