In advance of the iOS 8 release, it’s fun to speculate on what Apple may include in the update coming sometime later this year. Apple is hard at work and we’ve seen a number of iOS 8 rumors that point to improvements to Maps, mysterious new apps appear in screenshots and a possibly massive move into health and fitness tracking with Healthbook. With each new update, Apple continues to improve Siri and this year we’ll likely see more of the same. So what’s on my iOS 8 Wishlist for Siri?
Siri can be incredibly helpful, provided you remember to ask. Apple bills Siri as your personal assistant. In real life, I think we can all agree that a personal assistant needs to take some initiative. If you had employee that only responded to requests, they probably wouldn’t be employed for very long. Your iPhone is filled with information and personal data specific to you. In addition, databases at Apple know what Siri requests you’ve made in the past. Siri should be able to access and process that information, without needing any prompting from you.
Google Now, supported on most current Android phones (and even iOS to an extent) does an incredible job of anticipating what information you may need. This includes flight status information pulled from Gmail, scores from your favorite teams, package tracking information. On iOS 7, you can use a group of third party applications combined with notifications to replicate Now or even use the Google Search app (with Now integrated). The Notifications Center in iOS 7 borrows a bit from Now, offering driving time to home. In theory, Apple could access your information and offer similar bits to the Today panel in Notifications Center.This information, while useful, is different from what Siri can offer.
Think about how you currently use Siri? Chances are that a number of requests are repeated. However, with each request Siri has exchange data with Apple’s servers before providing a response. Each time you use Siri, it’s a blank slate, as if he or she has no memory of your past interactions. A real personal assistant would know that when you arrive at work, you need the reports from the previous night, a current stock price or to get your sister on the phone.
If you’ve been using Siri for years, data exists on how, when and what information you need. Instead of a blank screen, Siri in iOS 8 could offer suggestions as a result of data mining your iPhone and history. Those concerned with privacy could disable the feature. For me, I’d love a list of Siri shortcuts that are representative of how and when I use information. You’d still access Siri in the same fashion, but the lost screen real estate could be occupied by the most frequently made requests. A single tap would send Siri into action, grabbing reports, sports scores or placing a call. This list that would change as you change your requests.
Siri is too smart to be reactive. Here’s hoping iOS 8 brings a more proactive Siri, putting years of requests to good use and offering a more intuitive, helpful Siri.
How about you? Have would improve Siri in iOS 8?
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