Wednesday, August 31, 2016

iOS 10's Siri will keep apps away from the limelight

Apple's iOS 10 is about to be launched, and with it we'll finally get a Siri that can interact with 3rd party apps - which may end up having quite significant effects later on.

You might recall Siri being announced as revolutionary by the time it was launched on the iPhone 4S. But, since then, Siri as sat stagnant, simply letting us know how limited it really is if you try to scratch its surface. At long last, Apple is finally opening up Siri so it can interact with 3rd party apps, which in a way might be compared to the opening of the App Store. You can still recall that the iPhone simply run Apple's pre-installed apps when it was first announced, right? Can you imagine what it would be like if it stayed that way?

Allowing Siri to learn new tricks and controlling other apps, though in a very limited fashion and for a small subset of functions at the moment, will ensure its capabilities will quickly expand and grow. But the most curious thing might be the impact this has on apps themselves.

Though there are lots of apps you'll still want to check on your iPhone; there will be some you might interact with only via Siri. Do you really want to open up an app to send a message, when you can simply ask Siri to do it for you? Just like the "bot-revolution" we're witnessing on messaging platforms, this trend might progress to the point where some "apps" might simply become service platforms, with the API hooks required for digital assistants to interact with it, becoming the "neural net" that will provide the intelligence we'd like them to have.

Want to make an "app" to buy tickets? You won't need to worry about the design or interface, just list the methods available to do the task, and let Siri, or Alexa, or Cortana, or Google's Assistant, do the rest.

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