Apple Details Siri Updates Alongside 'Shortcuts' App to Create Customized Voice-Controlled Workflows

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Apple has revealed a collection of Siri improvements coming to iOS 12, centered around a new app called "Shortcuts." Shortcuts will let users connect certain third-party apps to Siri to greatly streamline voice controls. For example, the Tile app will let you add a shortcut to Siri so you can say "I lost my keys," activating Siri and showing Tile actions right in the Siri UI.

Other examples include creating a Shortcut to automatically open an app when you get to the gym every day, turning on Do Not Disturb at the movies, calling a family member on their birthday, and more. With the Shortcuts app, all of these customizable edits can be added and connected to an invokable Siri phrase.

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Apple gave another example where a person created a Shortcut from the Kayak app, connecting their hotel address with the Siri phrase "Travel Plans." So, when they quickly needed to get the address all they had to do was say "Travel Plans" to Siri and it came up immediately.

Far more intricate Shortcuts will be available, with one Siri phrase able to do things like adjust HomeKit thermostats, text a friend, read the news, and more, by simply saying something like "Hey Siri, I'm heading home."

Top Rated Comments

midkay Avatar
33 months ago
This seems very powerful. The open-ended approach of letting apps expose their actions and letting the user choose which they’d like to use and how they’d like to phrase their Siri requests isn’t what I expected, but I think it might be a great solution. It seems like a big step forward from slowly adding 2-3 specific Siri domains per year as they’ve done in the past, and involving the user in setting up the Siri query seems necessary since you can’t just let apps start adding their own voice commands to Siri ad-hoc, it would be impossible to manage.

The ‘Shortcuts’ workflow app does seem very power-user centric, but the way they showed typical everyday apps presenting the user with an option of adding a Siri action seemed very reasonable and simple, and the fact that the user chooses the phrase makes it clear and helps them remember it, and keeps Siri uncluttered of hundreds of useless / potentially conflicting commands from crappy apps or for actions you just don’t care about. I’m pretty sure this is a solid approach. I can’t wait to try it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freakstyles Avatar
33 months ago
We finally know why they acquired Workflow. Reminds me of Alexa skills but user created which is more personal and a lot better.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
33 months ago

Rather seems like making the user do themselves what the AI isn’t smart enough to do itself.

Bull. There’s no way to account for all use-cases. Shortcut actions gives users access to countless use-cases, by setting actions specific to them. Hey Siri, upload to Imgur. Etc.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mazz0 Avatar
33 months ago
Rather seems like making the user do themselves what the AI isn’t smart enough to do itself.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rtomyj Avatar
33 months ago

Rather seems like making the user do themselves what the AI isn’t smart enough to do itself.

What? This is a good way to open Siri up without categorizing every action. The user sets the scenes and the apps can allow interactions to the users. It’s pretty brilliant.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
e-coli Avatar
33 months ago
Finally. If it works, this is huge news. It’s Apple’s biggest blind spot to date.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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