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According to The Verge (This article and its images were originally posted on The Verge June 4, 2018 at 01:51PM.)
Siri is getting a significant update, Apple announced at its annual developer conference today. It’s getting a new feature called Shortcuts, which is basically a way to get Siri to go through a multi-step routine.
“We want to make Siri do much more for you,” says VP of software Craig Federighi. Now you can record and assign your own phrases as Shortcuts and once Siri hears those phrases repeated, it will perform a series of actions.
For instance, you can record the phrase “I lost my keys,” and it can activate your own Tile to ring your keys so you can find them. Shortcuts could even help you do grocery shopping.
Shortcuts will also work with Siri’s Suggestions feature, which is getting a few additional updates. If you’re running late for a meeting, Siri will now suggest that you text you’re going to be late. When catching a movie, Siri will suggest turning your phone on Do Not Disturb.
There’s also going to be a Shortcuts app, where you can prepare for an activity like heading to the beach to surf, with a list of suggestions such as checking the weather and preparing a beach towel.
Inside the Shortcuts app, there’s a gallery, where there are hundreds of Shortcuts you can download. There’s one called Heading Home, which will set your smart home gadgets like the thermostat to 70 degrees, turn on the fan, tell your contact that you’re heading home, and estimate how long it takes to get home. You can also add additional steps like tuning into your favorite podcast or radio station to a pre-made Shortcut.
Apple is releasing those new changes in hopes of addressing user concerns that Siri sometimes fails to understand a question or provides the wrong answers. The biggest problem is that Siri isn’t adept enough at voice recognition compared to its more skilled rivals, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
In iOS 11, Siri gained new skills like being able to translate different languages and populating notifications about upcoming flights. But they seemed to distract from the point of Siri being a voice assistant, and not another silent program with notifications.
In light of these upgrades, maybe Siri can start to feel relevant again, especially as its rivals already have the ability to perform multi-step routines. People still consider it a voice assistant, and in that category, Siri isn’t standing out among its competition.
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