Home / Technology / Apple uses Siri Shortcuts to catch Alexa and Google Assistant

Apple uses Siri Shortcuts to catch Alexa and Google Assistant



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A look at the integration of shortcuts with Kayak.

James Martin / CNET

While Alexa and Google's Assistant Amazon have been busy in recent years creating a myriad of new skills and abilities, Apple's Siri seemed to be falling asleep. Alexa launched food delivery via voice commands in early 2016. Siri, on the other hand, did not offer the same functionality as last year.

Given this contrast, it's no secret for Siri far behind its main competition in the features and partners of the smart home.

But, Apple's goal is to revive Siri and encourage the same wave of developmental experiences that has earned Alexa a success. It's doing that through Siri Shortcuts, a feature introduced at the world developer conference in June but did not insist too much on its presentation.

Shortcuts allow users to use Siri to control different iOS applications, allowing users to take a picture with their iPhone or get details on an upcoming flight, all by voice commands.

Apple on Thursday announced a series of new application integrations with Siri Shortcuts, including Caviar (that's right, food delivery), Merriam Webster Dictionary and Airbnb. These applications join thousands, even thousands of others already connected to Siri thanks to the shortcuts.


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Apple's work shows that Siri Shortcuts has already proved more promising than SiriKit, another Siri software integration that has never matched the rapid development of new skills offered by Alexa and Google Assistant. Apple said that SiriKit would continue to exist, but only for a handful of targeted uses, such as messaging on WhatsApp, and driving on Uber.

Apple's ability to offer thousands of new features to Siri in a short period of time should give the Siri ecosystem the boost it needs. It also offers a new competition for Alexa and Assistant, who have kept comfortable slots as # 1 and # 2 voice assist. Apple has also found a way to integrate Siri into more connected devices, such as coffee makers. , by integrating the Drop application with Shortcuts.

This strategy seems to clearly emphasize the strengths of Apple, which is one of the leading platforms for millions of mobile applications. Work to improve shortcuts could offer new hope to Apple's longtime fans, who have asked for more help using the company's digital help. He also points to Apple's renewed interest in Siri, particularly because of the hiring of John Giannandrea, a former AI manager at Google, last April.

Apple still has a long way to go, especially in the smart speaker market, where its HomePod speaker remains a pricier also ran on Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Siri Shortcuts has been integrated with a handful of places in iOS 12 encourage people to use Siri much more frequently. Apple will now suggest new Siri shortcuts to activate, such as setting a preferred sandwich order via Caviar or sending a word notification of the day via Merriam Webster. These suggestions have been added to the search section and settings on iOS. They also appear in thousands of applications.

Apple said Thursday it added Siri shortcuts from American Airlines, Dexcom, Caviar, Merriam Webster and Specter. The Airbnb, Drop, ReSound and Smarter shortcuts will come in March and April. For Airbnb, for example, you'll be able to access your stay details, including check-in time, a Wi-Fi card and password, and set up a shortcut voice command from your phone. type "Hey Siri, my Airbnb stay."

These new integrations join thousands of other already integrated apps, including Waze, Nike Run Club, Seamless, Instacart, DSLR, Pandora, Tile, Overcast, Evernote, Citymapper, Kayak, Hotels.com, British Airways , VRBO and The Weather Channel.

A new Siri Shortcuts application was also created to allow users to create more complex shortcuts integrating both smart home devices running Apple's HomeKit and applications running with Siri. For example, a user can now tell Siri "Hello" to open the blinds, turn on the coffee machine and hear the weather report.

Siri shortcuts are available on iPhone, iPad, HomePod, iPod Touch and Apple Watch.

Apple claims that Siri remains the most used wizard in the world, thanks to its popular iPhone, with 500 million devices making 10 billion requests per month. It seems that these users will now have many more things to discuss with Siri.


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