New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Siri Shortcuts Expands to American Airlines, Caviar, and Other Apps, Coming Soon to Airbnb

Apple today announced that American Airlines, Dexcom, Caviar, Merriam Webster, and Spectre have added Siri Shortcuts support to their apps this week. Airbnb, Drop, ReSound, and Smarter also plan to add ‌Siri‌ Shortcuts integration to their apps over the next few months.


Apple provided us with a summary of how ‌Siri‌ Shortcuts works in each app:
  • American Airlines: Get updates on all your flight details ("Hey ‌Siri‌, flight update"). This includes flight status, drive time, a map of the airport with gate location, walking time to gate, boarding time, and more.
  • Caviar: Set up a shortcut to re-order food and check order status. ("Hey ‌Siri‌, order my usual pizza" or "Hey ‌Siri‌, Caviar order status").
  • Dexcom: Lets diabetics better track and manage glucose levels through their app ("Hey ‌Siri‌, what's my blood glucose?").
  • Merriam Webster Dictionary: Ask for the word of the day ("Hey ‌Siri‌, what's the word of the day?")
  • Spectre: You can use shortcuts to take long exposure photos hands-free ("Hey ‌Siri‌, long exposure") so the phone doesn't move while shooting.
Coming in March-April:
  • Airbnb: Get details on your stay, including check in and check out times, address and map, and Wi-Fi password ("Hey ‌Siri‌, my Airbnb stay").
  • Drop for Bosch: Make your morning coffee before you get out of bed ("Hey ‌Siri‌, make an espresso").
  • ReSound: Change the setting of your hearing aid based on surroundings ("Hey ‌Siri‌, restaurant mode").
  • strong>Smarter: Make a pot of coffee using the Smarter Coffee Machine ("Hey ‌Siri‌, make a small pot of coffee").
Apple says thousands of apps now support ‌Siri‌ Shortcuts, which debuted as a key feature of iOS 12 last year.

Apple's examples include Waze, Nike Run Club, Snoww, HomeCourt, AutoSleep, QardioArm, DSLR Camera, Pandora, Tile, Overcast, Evernote, Trello, Omnifocus, Things, Fantastical, Citymapper, Kayak, Hotels.com, British Airways, Lufthansa, Booking.com, VRBO, CARROT, The Weather Channel, Dark Sky, and many others.

Subscribe to MacRumors on YouTube for more videos

‌Siri‌ Shortcuts let you create voice and tap-activated automations that can complete multiple complex tasks in just a few seconds. The feature is available in the Settings app under ‌Siri‌ & Search and through the dedicated Shortcuts app.

Update: Apple has since highlighted several of these ‌Siri‌ Shortcuts apps in a press release.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

9 months ago

Does anyone actually use Siri?

What kind of question is this? I swear I’m dumbfounded sometimes by that cynicism in MacRumors forums. It was predictable that people would immediately start ragging on Siri, and making comments that feel three years old. I use Siri 30 times a day. Siri is incredibly useful and powerful, and gets more so on a regular basis. Anyone with an iPhone, iPad or HomePod who doesn’t use Siri on the regular is living in the past and not maximizing their time, nor their investment. Complaining about Siri is an easy, tired bit. Siri does things that Alexa can’t touch, and handles general language better than Alexa, which requires more narrow, precise commands. A recent study with 800 queries showed that Siri made huge gains over the past year and is now second only to Google Assistant. Shortcuts is a fantastic app that has expanded Siri use to dozens of new services and activities for me. I can’t wait to see what Apple does with Siri at WWDC this June. Based on the progress they’ve made in the past year and a half, and with the ex-Google guy now the VP in charge of machine learning, I’m expecting big things.
Rating: 7 Votes
9 months ago

Siri shortcuts could be/is a way to compete with Alexa ‘skills’ if marketed correctly.



Siri shortcuts built into apps is likely going to be more successful than Alexa skills. The reason being that if you choose to use an App, and the App has one or two Siri skills built in, you've solved the discovery problem, and more importantly, you've solved the relevancy problem. Surveys show that Alexa's "skills" are a lot of hype. Almost no one uses those obscure "skills." A recent major survey showed that the majority of people haven't used a single Alexa "skill" beyond the basic ones. In terms of smart speakers, for example, people use them almost exclusively to listen to music/pod casts, check weather. set timers, control lights, and check messages. All of these and more Siri does great on, with far superior sound quality.

Siri, like all of them, is still in the infant stage with a lot of room for improvement, but I use Siri everyday to set alarms, reminders, make phone calls, check and send messages, check my calendar, check on weather, sport scores, traffic, control my Homekit lights, and of course listen to great sounding music and podcasts. She is spot on the vast majority of times for these simple tasks (in the not too distant past, this would have been considered science fiction:)) but again, I look forward to seeing the fruits of investments like VocalIQ where Siri can decode more natural language and sequential conversations, etc.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

No. It’s not. A truly smart Siri would have more knowledge, understand more context, be pro-active, etc. But Shortcuts doesn’t require any artificial intelligence. It’s just pre recorded sentences the user has to program and remember exactly in order to trigger a workflow. After a few weeks I already forgot most sentences I recorded so for me the feature is more or less useless.

Siri works fine for my requests. If you forgot what you set it as that sounds like a you problem.

What does siri not do that I need it to? What do other assistants do that I need? I have several alexa and google home devices at home so I can test.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago

Siri Shortcuts. Apple’s way of giving up on making Siri smarter.

Quite the opposite. Shortcuts makes siri quite a bit smarter and gives it functionality beyond what anyone else has.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
Siri Shortcuts. The buggiest Apple app so far.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago

Does anyone actually use Siri?



It's actually the most used digital assistant in the world, used billions of times a week and in more languages by far than any other digital assistant. No, it doesn't have as many built in skills as Alexa, such as farting on command, but for things people actually use their smart speakers for, Siri does them all and does them well. Indeed, in a most recent "test" by a major tech pub, Siri was close to Google and well ahead of Alexa and Cortana.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago

But why no Spotify yet?

That's up to spotify. However there are shortcuts that use web links to launch playlists and such in the spotify app. I have one and can use it to launch a variety of playlists. The reddit shortcuts group is very helpful for finding and downloading shortcuts.

[doublepost=1551367397][/doublepost]

Does anyone actually use Siri?

Yep, every day. With carplay mostly. Sometimes on my phone at home.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago

I used to have a couple Dots and a Google Home mini up and running. They're now in a drawer because Siri works just fine for me. HomeKit is much faster at turning lights on and off than going through whatever gateways Google and Amazon use.

Homekit is very fast. However support for homekit is very low. It can't control any of my smart switches or thermostat or access my cameras. I have 2 lifx bulbs that it can control and that's it. But yes, it is super fast at controlling them.
[doublepost=1551390911][/doublepost]

I know, I got some for Spotify from reddit. But having to import shortcuts manually doesn't make Siri as a 'smart assistant' ... smarter. Which is a shame because it could really shine if it would search through user-created shortcuts to respond to queries it can't do by default. I guess the biggest challenge with this idea is that Siri would have to understand what every single shortcut does before considering when to use which.

Amazon is working (or maybe has it already working, I read about it last year) on a feature for Alexa called 'name-free interaction' that automatically searches and launches skills from third-party developers without the need for the user to set those up before - it does it on the fly during a query. But in order for it to work, the developers have to detail precisely what information or functionality their skills contain, Alexa can't figure this out by itself. This is probably the critical point where user-created shortcuts might often lack the necessary quality of detail because their creators didn't care enough or - even worse - purposefully entered wrong information leading to useless responses. That is clearly something Apple doesn't wan't to happen.

That's great and all but keep in mind, the VAST majority of people don't use a smart speaker/assistant to do anything beyond setting a timer, getting a weather forecast, turning on a light or asking for unit conversions, setting reminders, adding to a list. You can look up the statistics on that. Those who need much more complex functionality from these devices are very much in the minority. That's all I use it for at home, and playing the news and music/podcasts. There simply isn't a lot of need for more. Most people want something because it's neat at first but quickly lose interest. But what do you really need?

The beauty of shortcuts is it gives me control over things beyond what the developers maybe would have designed or considered. So I can quickly and easily do some pretty cool things. This makes siri quite a bit more powerful.

Like I said, I have a variety of smart devices. 1 google home, 3 home minis, 1 echo dot, 2 sonos(with alexa, soon to get google assistant). So I can test and do a variety of things on them, but like most people they get only basic usage.
I can also make requests on my 2 ATV's or my Nvidia shield. So far all I've done is ask it to skip ahead 3 minutes.

I do use carplay and siri has no issues texting, getting directions, pausing or skipping songs/podcasts, which is what I use it for in the car.
Rating: 1 Votes
9 months ago
Siri Shortcuts. Apple’s way of giving up on making Siri smarter. Prerecorded sentences are not the way.
Rating: 1 Votes
9 months ago
"Apple limit that Shortcuts can only have “Play music” command from Apple Music apps only"

A simple task of trying to play X artist, or X song or X playlist, or all your music not in a playlist is an exercise in frustration between Siri and Spotify. It is not "it just works", quite the opposite: "it just does not work, so only use Apple Music".
How many persons actually use the Shortcuts app?, it feels like an Android app from 5 years ago or Dragon díctate from the 90s, really.
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]