There’s one thing that even the most hard core of Apple fans can admit: Siri is not the most useful feature in iOS. In its current form, I find myself rarely using the feature at all. That said, there are definitely times that having voice commands can be useful; driving, jogging, and impressing your friends with your phone’s quirky responses. That said, you probably shouldn’t be using your phone while driving, jogging with an iPhone is impractical, and the novelty of some of Siri’s funny responses wears off quickly.
Another obvious flaw of the feature is that it’s still in “beta,” which I guess is Apple’s excuse for ‘her’ downfalls. First, Siri is unpredictable and unreliable. Sometimes she’ll repeat back my query perfectly and send my text no problem, but other times her interpretation will be far from what I actually said. Secondly, Siri needs a third-party API. ArsTechnica has listed this as one of the features they want to see in iOS 7, and I think allowing Siri to work with third-party apps would be a great feature as Apple (hopefully) announces that the service exits “beta.”
Siri—Apple’s “personal assistant” feature that lets you make reminders, create calendar items, set timers, send text messages, and more—would be even more useful if you could give commands to certain third-party apps, aside from the Apple-sanctioned ones like OpenTable and Yelp. For example, imagine being able to ask Siri whether your prescription is ready, and having Siri check your prescription status through the Walgreen app. Or if you have a Nest thermostat and the corresponding iOS app, you could ask Siri to turn the temperature of your home up or down, or set the Nest to “away” mode.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to voice commands, and it seems to me that whenever Apple allows third-party developers access to more APIs, amazing things happen. Push notifications, for example, created a battery-saving, streamlined way of developers notifying their users of updates occurring within their apps. What apps do you think would benefit greatly from a third-party Siri API?