Siri Shortcuts Offer Scope for Limited Spotify Interactions in iOS 12

Last month, when we asked MacRumors readers what they hoped to see in iOS 12, one of the most frequent requests was improvements to Siri, specifically Spotify integration. Currently, Siri can open streaming media apps like Spotify, but it can't play songs or video from third-party sources.

While Apple has yet to explicitly support the functionality, one of the components in the newly-announced Siri Shortcuts feature in iOS 12 could pave the way for Siri-controlled playback, should Spotify choose to implement it.


Siri Shortcuts lets users connect certain third-party apps to Siri to greatly streamline voice controls, allowing them to connect app-specific actions to an invokable Siri phrase.

As noted by TechCrunch, the Siri Shortcuts feature includes a "Play Media" intent that will let users summon audio and video media from third-party apps, and could theoretically be used to direct Siri on iPhone or HomePod to a designated playlist or artist on Spotify.

It's not yet entirely clear how deep this kind of integration can go, but it's likely to operate much less seamlessly than Siri controls for Apple Music. The Siri Shortcuts that Apple demonstrated during its WWDC keynote for instance were limited to sequential actions across apps, suggesting the "Play Media" intent is a one-off command that relies on specific pre-made shortcuts to playlists, artists, and the like.

Still, in theory, Siri could be used to play an artist or playlist from Spotify, and then the listener could use the standard Siri media playback functions to control the listening experience. But that's still some ways off Siri's existing integration with Apple Music, which extends to individual interface controls and even artist/genre queries.

The other issue of course is that it all depends on whether Spotify chooses to implement Shortcuts, but the new feature in iOS 12 is at least a positive sign that Apple is evolving Siri toward increased compatibility with third-party streaming services.

Related Roundup: iOS 12


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19 weeks ago
It’s like Apple is like „lol we have no idea how to fix Siri so lets have our users fix it for themselves“
Rating: 5 Votes
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19 weeks ago

Shortcuts are one of the best things Apple has added.

I wonder if these shortcuts can also be used without voice?

E.g when you arrive at a certain location it automatically runs through a set of actions you’ve defined?

I’m with you. I really hope shortcuts are the Automator of iOS. It really could be an IFTTT killer on the iphone
Rating: 4 Votes
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19 weeks ago
Shortcuts are one of the best things Apple has added.

I wonder if these shortcuts can also be used without voice?

E.g when you arrive at a certain location it automatically runs through a set of actions you’ve defined?
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
19 weeks ago
I think this is a faster way to make Siri useful, as you can virtually assign all kinds of actions to get to the information you need in any app that includes these shortcuts.

Very interesting approach...
Rating: 2 Votes
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19 weeks ago

I’m with you. I really hope shortcuts are the Automator of iOS. It really could be an IFTTT killer on the iphone

It will probably work more like workflow, albeit with Siri integration.
Rating: 2 Votes
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19 weeks ago

It’s a pretty neat stopgap measure until they make Siri smarter imo.


It may not be a stopgap and that may not be a bad thing. Every few weeks some Alexa/Google Home data leak/privacy violation storycomes out. It’s no longer NEWS it’s now just ‘news’, with only a small emphasis. But they keep occurring. If a shortcut is stored locally and based upon a specific phrase then you lose the ability to say similar questions or commands but you don’t have to worry as much about being spied upon.
Rating: 1 Votes
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19 weeks ago

It’s like Apple is like „lol we have no idea how to fix Siri so lets have our users fix it for themselves“

I think both can co-exists - there is no way for Apple to create every imaginable Siri intent - IMO, this might cause folks to use Siri more - ex: pizza hut or Dominos can offer a Siri shortcut for a regular order you place and then you don't even have to open the app to re-order.
Rating: 1 Votes
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19 weeks ago

It may not be a stopgap and that may not be a bad thing. Every few weeks some Alexa/Google Home data leak/privacy violation storycomes out. It’s no longer NEWS it’s now just ‘news’, with only a small emphasis. But they keep occurring. If a shortcut is stored locally and based upon a specific phrase then you lose the ability to say similar questions or commands but you don’t have to worry as much about being spied upon.


I have the same feeling. I think this is totally’s Apple’s reply to everyone that is asking for Siri to “do more” while still maintaining their privacy standards and preferring to do things on device. It’s a really intriguing idea that I hope works out!
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
19 weeks ago

It’s like Apple is like „lol we have no idea how to fix Siri so lets have our users fix it for themselves“


It’s a pretty neat stopgap measure until they make Siri smarter imo.
Rating: 1 Votes
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19 weeks ago
You know what I would like? My phone to launch Spotify and play my music when it connects to my car instead of opening Music and saying “no data” because there’s nothing in there
Rating: 1 Votes
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