At the WWDC 2018 keynote yesterday, Apple announced some new features for its voice assistant Siri. Thanks to the addition of the Shortcuts feature, Siri will now be able to perform multiple tasks with one simple customized command. Siri will also be giving out smart suggestions, by taking into consideration the time, location or activity at hand.
With Shortcuts you can record and add a phrase to trigger a function with any application. Apple’s SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi demonstrated the feature by saying, “I lost my keys” and the app triggered the Tile device connected to the keys, in order to find them.
Not just that, Shortcuts app can also be used to prepare for an activity, across multiple applications. For example, saying “Heading home”, can trigger Siri to find you the fastest route, turn on the fan at home, notify your family and even start your favorite podcast all at once, without you having to do anything else. Shortcuts already carry hundreds of pre-configured commands. You can customize them by adding more functions to suit your need better, or make new ones from scratch completely. Plenty of third-party apps will be supported.
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Additionally, Shortcuts will also work in sync with suggestions. For example, if you’re running late for a meeting, Siri will suggest you to send a text message informing other participants. It can also order your groceries on time or remind you to wish your loved ones on their birthdays and other special occasions. With the new features Siri does look quite promising. It should also help the voice assistant compete better with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.