Apple’s made a rare move of publishing multiple blog posts to whet our appetite for Siri’s upcoming third-party integration on iOS 10. We already detailed how Siri will work with popular messaging/payments apps and allow you to search photos inside third-party apps like Pinterest, just by using your voice.
Now, we take a closer look at how Apple’s personal digital assistant can interact with VoIP apps like Skype, Vonage and others.
Here’s Apple’s sneak peek at some of the new ways you can use Siri to place Voice over IP (VoIP) calls on Skype or Vonage, and call co-workers via Cisco Spark.
“Hey Siri, using Essentials call Michael”
In one example, a user invokes Siri and says, “Call Michael using Essentials”, ”Using Essentials, call Michael” or some such. Thanks to SiriKit and iOS 10’s much-improved Phone app (that now integrates Recents, Favorites and Contacts from VoIP apps), the personal assistant knows who Michael is on Vonage Essentials and uses this contact information to call him on Vonage.
Or, if you use Skype, you could say something like “Hey Siri, call my boss on Skype,” “Using Skype, call my Mom” and so forth, and Siri will do the right thing. Again, the stock Phone app is extensible on iOS 10 to let apps like Skype provide the same Lock screen and in-call experience as cellular phone calls.
It’s interesting how Siri’s ability to place VoIP calls on your behalf automatically kicks into action when you just speak a person’s name aloud. For instance, if Lisa Smith has an entry in the Contacts app and you invoke Siri and say “Lisa Smith,” the assistant will ask if you’d like to call Lisa using any default service that happens to be found on her contact card.
Like regular contacts, Siri can resolve your VoIP contacts if you only mention a person’s first name and there are multiple VoIP entries for that name in Contacts.
In such a scenario, asking Siri to “Call Lisa on Skype” shall yield a prompt asking to select the correct Skype contact. And lastly, there’s Spark, Cisco’s app for communicating securely with co-workers. Cisco Spark now uses SiriKit, so searching your contacts and placing calls is simpler than ever.