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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