Apple shows off iOS 6's Siri enhancements

Siri is stepping things up a bit – Apple showed off a whole host of improvements that should make their digital assistant a whole lot more useful. Not only is Siri coming to the new iPad, but she's also gaining the ability to open apps (hello Windows Phone Mango) and access even more information than before.

Scott Forstall, Apple's Senior VP of iOS software, showed off some of the new features at today's WWDC keynote. For starters, he demonstrated Siri's new found knowledge of sports, getting info like batting averages and checking to see who is taller, LeBron or Kobe. And don't worry, it's not just American sports; Siri can get information on football/soccer just as easily as baseball.

That's all well and good for a lot of people who are really into sports, but what about the rest of us? Apple has partnered with Open Table to let Siri make restraunt reservations on the go, and with Rotten Tomatoes to get info on movies. You can even watch trailers right in Siri, presumably using iTunes Trailers.

Maybe the most requested features that Siri's gained, though, is the ability to launch apps and update social networks. So now if you ask Siri to open an app she'll actually do something other than apologize. Hopefully we won't see too many wrong apps opening up.

Forstall says that Apple has partnered with BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda to deliver a new feature called Eyes Free, which will be integrated into car steering wheels in the next 12 months. Basically, you'll have a button on your steering wheel to launch Siri. Pretty neat, but we wonder if they'll figure out someway to make it a little more platform neutral. Probably not.

Last but not least, the new iPad will be getting Siri, and she's going to be more fluent in foreign languages. That means English/French support for Canada, Spanish in Spain, Mexico and the US, Italian, Swiss, French, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and mainland Mandarin. As far as we can tell so far, the improvements to Siri will be launching at the same time as the rest of iOS.

Image via The Verge

Source: The Verge (Live Blog)

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11 Comments

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PmRd said,
Launching apps with voice! Wow, now that's a new idea!

They're finally catching up to Windows (Speech Recognition) and Windows Phone (TellMe), and I would guess Android

It's already implemented in Windows, but it would take a third party less than five minutes to implement it again using .NET... the SpeechRecognizer and SpeechSynthesizer classes are easy to use.

i hope that's an extra charge for the button on the steering wheel, i'm tired of the useless buttons that are there already!

Umm, sorry, no. From Apple's iOS 6 preview page...

2. Siri will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad (3rd generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.

Raven119 said,
Umm, sorry, no. From Apple's iOS 6 preview page...

2. Siri will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad (3rd generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.

Sorry, just meant iOS 6

Most of the features are like an answer to "Smoked by WP" and Android ICS features. (You may call it copied from too)

I've noticed that it takes longer to get Siri to search for these things then to search for it yourself.

Edit: Also not a fan of how they "censor" a lot of things that won't praise Apple.

drazgoosh said,
I've noticed that it takes longer to get Siri to search for these things then to search for it yourself.

Edit: Also not a fan of how they "censor" a lot of things that won't praise Apple.


Which is ridiculous.