Apple rumored to open up Siri to 3rd party apps with iWatch in mind

By , Mar 5, 2014

iWatch concept (Siri, Todd Hamilton 001)

According to a new report by The Information, a technology blog former WSJ writer Jessica Lessin started recently, Apple will open up Siri to third-party developers.

Such a move would let folks use the smart personal assistant to control their favorite apps. The development is believed to be closely tied to Apple’s work on its rumored wearable project, the iWatch.

This would mark a significant advancement for Siri, which since its October 2011 inception has been expected to allow for spoken commands and interactions in third-party iPhone and iPad applications…

TechCrunch was kind enough to summarize The Information story, which claims Apple’s been hard at work advancing Siri’s search capabilities and widening its capability set.

While Apple partners with a number of Siri data providers such as OpenTable and Wolfram Alpha, there’re lots of things she can’t do, like book a car rental, make a hotel reservation or use a messaging app other than Messages to send a text, the report notes.

The improvements to Siri would potentially enable those types of things, enabling third-party integrations that don’t require one-to-one business arrangement between Apple and the external company.

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac learned last June that Apple was working on a Siri API “for a couple of years” and planning to have a basic approval process for third-party iOS developers who would wish to implement Siri functionality in their apps.

The following bit is even more interesting:

Siri improvements in development also include tech that would allow it to intelligently select what to display on a device with constrained screen space, so that a running app might be brought to the fore when a user starts jogging, for instance.

To me, this sounds like Apple is optimizing Siri for the iWatch.

While we’re speculating, Siri likely won’t run independently on Apple’s rumored wearable device due to limited resources and energy constraints. Instead, the feature may require Bluetooth connectivity with an iOS device acting as an intermediary that processes Siri queries and relays the results back to the iWatch.

What’s your take?

Would Siri make sense on a wrist-worn device?

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  • Mini Apple Genius

    I think it would be useful, since the iWatch screen could be small and sometimes annoying.

    • Jeffrey

      i think we have to imagine iwatchs’ OS with carplay in mind, so siri would play a large role. unfortunately i cant see myself talking to my watch loudly while biking, i already look around for people before i talk to siri so they wont think im crazy lol

      • John

        I think this is quite a valid point that people have forgotten…that is talking while biking, not that you’re paranoid. I think Siri for third-party Apps would be more valuable for CarPlay then it would be for a wearable product.

        In the car, you’d be more inclined NOT to use your phone whereas most/some people would have EarPods in while using their iPhones and wearing said wearable so they would be less inclined to need to talk into their phone/wearable since they have EarPods in…if that makes sense.

      • Jeffrey

        true… but i do think it’s pretty usefull for both

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        ” i already look around for people before i talk to siri so they wont think im crazy lol”

        lol. I couldn’t really care less what other people think when I use Siri.

        Cool fact 9/10 those people that react badly / weirdly when you use Siri are likely only doing so since they probably use Android or another OS and secretly wish that they too had a personal assistant as good as Siri ;)

      • Jeffrey

        lol true, i dont know how it is in ‘murica but here in Holland… not a lot of people know siri so its diffrent…

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    There was a rumor last year that Siri API’s were coming in ios 7.1…I believe it was stated on here too. Maybe they are still planning to do that? I would LOVE Siri more integrated with Facebook and say ESPN. Need career stats for Siri and thats something 3rd party developers could take advantage of. I know all my sports nerds agree with me.

    • John

      Australia (I believe) doesn’t use ESPN all that much, but then the two most popular winter sports–AFL and NRL–currently aren’t integrated with Siri since Yahoo! sport do not support them so allow me to stand next to you in protest that most sports data needs to be integrated into Siri because not everyone cares only for soccer and baseball.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Well I think most minor sports data is available. Its not just soccer and baseball. Tons of sports are in Siri but no CAREER stats are. So I cant ask Siri how many career touchdowns did Brett Favre have. Or who holds the record for the most rushing yards in a game. I feel like this would be an underrated feature if the rumor is true. So I’m excited for the possibilities.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Even the integration that is included with soccer and baseball isn’t that good. I don’t really know about the latter but certainly the former probably works for the MLS (I haven’t tried) but I often use Siri to check the fixtures and rankings of the Barclays Premier League (or EPL to everyone else). It works quite well for league games but try and ask Siri anything about a cup competition in England and you won’t get far without opening Safari and doing a Bing / Google search…

  • Jason Baroni

    There was a rumor that Apple would take Siri to offline access. It matches this new one, what would take the watch and also all the devices use to another level.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      How would that work? Is Apple making their own offline Wolfram Alpha and offline Google Search and offline you get the point…Or is this only for system things like time, date, playing media, etc? If so this would be brilliant.

      • Jason Baroni

        Apple did not present it to me yet. They are kinda secret about rumors and next projects. I think for what they can do now Siri offline would just creat alarms, events, play media and change settings. I agree with you about the offline search and stuff. It would be really nice.

  • Tristan

    I try to see things at a macro-level. The grand scheme of things is that apple is moving towards a voice activated digital hub. Soon all these would weave together. AppleTV, iPhone, and even the mac would soon be controlled via voice on your iWatch.