Inside iOS 10: Apple's Data Detectors offer quick details on music, movies, actors

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
Finding local movie showtimes or viewing an artist's complete discography is as simple as striking up a conversation in Messages, thanks to expanded content-driven Data Detectors included in Apple's iOS 10.



Data Detectors are not new -- the concept was one of the principal features introduced in Apple's Mac OS 8 back in 1997. They have also been a major part of iOS for years, automatically creating quick links out of items like phone numbers, dates, addresses and more.

Starting with iOS 10, Data Detectors have also been expanded to include content. For example, if you send a friend an iMessage about a movie you want to see, iOS 10 turns the title of the movie into a link that provides relevant details, including showtimes or the ability to rent or purchase on iTunes.

Data Detectors in iOS 10 are designed intelligently, apparently based on current releases or popularity. Currently, tapping the words "Star Trek" in a text will return results for the current film in theaters, "Star Trek Beyond," despite the fact that there are numerous "Star Trek" films and television shows.

Notably, Data Detector links for such content only appear in certain situations. For example, a text that simply reads "Star Trek" does not turn into a tappable link, while a sentence asking "Do you want to see Star Trek at 7?" creates a link.

iOS 10 Data Detectors also work with other types of iTunes content, such as artists and actors. When the operating system detects the name of an artist or performer it knows, it is displayed as a link, which can be tapped for quick links to the iTunes Store, Wikipedia, and suggested websites.



These features also work with the pressure sensing 3D Touch screen on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s series, allowing users to "peek" at content with a firm press. Swiping up while peeking offers links to search the web or to copy the content, making it easier to share.

As with 3D Touch elsewhere in iOS, pressing harder while peeking will "pop" the content out, making it display permanently on the screen so users can interact with it.

iOS 10 Data Detectors do not appear to work with TV shows, apps, books or other types of content.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in August following Apple's announcement of iOS 10 at WWDC 2016. It has been updated and republished to coincide with the mobile operating system's public release. For more on iOS 10, see AppleInsider's ongoing Inside iOS 10.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    shk718shk718 Posts: 2member
    I'd like to see Apple expand the functionality of their data detectors from an active to a passive event: such as auto flight tracking and package delivery. they can detect these but not auto update and notify you as events change (flight delays, package delivery status). They also don't seem to be able to data detect calendar events on Travelocity emails which I find odd - all the information is there. I'd also like to see them link events. For example - you have a package scheduled to be delivered on a particular day - if you schedule an appointment that day they should give you a warning about the package so you don't miss the delivery. "Package XXX is scheduled to be delivered that day - you may want to make other arrangements". That to me is a true personal assistant.
    lmagoochiahagar
  • Reply 2 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I feel like I'm the only one who notices that every release of iOS and OS X, I mean macOS, shoots down another pillar of Giggles empire.

    Simple solutions like force touch trackpads that open Wikipedia and an iPhone text like "Star Trek tonight?" that show you movie times instantly, give users less reason to take an extra step to do an Internet search with clutter and ads.

    This is apart from apps that are already hurting the Giggle empire. Now if Siri would stop being so stupid, users would have even less reason to search online on outdated websites.
    williamlondondavennolamacguybaconstangalbegarcpatchythepiratefastasleepchia
  • Reply 3 of 20
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member
    cali said:
    I feel like I'm the only one who notices that every release of iOS and OS X, I mean macOS, shoots down another pillar of Giggles empire.

    Simple solutions like force touch trackpads that open Wikipedia and an iPhone text like "Star Trek tonight?" that show you movie times instantly, give users less reason to take an extra step to do an Internet search with clutter and ads.

    This is apart from apps that are already hurting the Giggle empire. Now if Siri would stop being so stupid, users would have even less reason to search online on outdated websites.
    Nope, you're not the only one. I've been witnessing a very deliberate, systematic, intelligent, and effective approach by Apple to make searches obsolete and irrelevant in a ton of common situations. Its brilliant, and these are strengthened with every iOS/OSX release.
    calirepressthiswilliamlondonnolamacguyalbegarcbadmonklmagoofastasleep
  • Reply 4 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    slurpy said:
    cali said:
    I feel like I'm the only one who notices that every release of iOS and OS X, I mean macOS, shoots down another pillar of Giggles empire.

    Simple solutions like force touch trackpads that open Wikipedia and an iPhone text like "Star Trek tonight?" that show you movie times instantly, give users less reason to take an extra step to do an Internet search with clutter and ads.

    This is apart from apps that are already hurting the Giggle empire. Now if Siri would stop being so stupid, users would have even less reason to search online on outdated websites.
    Nope, you're not the only one. I've been witnessing a very deliberate, systematic, intelligent, and effective approach by Apple to make searches obsolete and irrelevant in a ton of common situations. Its brilliant, and these are strengthened with every iOS/OSX release.

    Glad I'm not the only one. When Apple showed off Force Touch Wikipedia info in OS X I chuckled. (WWDC 2015?)

    Later I posted about it and everyone was like "wtf you talking about? It's for convenience only". But this convenience cuts down the steps of opening up Safari, going to google.com, searching for "Star Trek theatre times", scrolling over ads etc. Yes a huge population of people STILL go through all these steps. Heck, some people type in "yelp.com" in Google. SMH.

    Seriously, Internet search engines are so 1996.
    repressthiswilliamlondonradarthekatalbegarcpatchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 20
    I think it should also rent movie and charge automatically. As far as political movies it should divert to more appropriate, decided based on who has to win elections.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    cali said:
    slurpy said:
    Nope, you're not the only one. I've been witnessing a very deliberate, systematic, intelligent, and effective approach by Apple to make searches obsolete and irrelevant in a ton of common situations. Its brilliant, and these are strengthened with every iOS/OSX release.

    Glad I'm not the only one. When Apple showed off Force Touch Wikipedia info in OS X I chuckled. (WWDC 2015?)

    Later I posted about it and everyone was like "wtf you talking about? It's for convenience only". But this convenience cuts down the steps of opening up Safari, going to google.com, searching for "Star Trek theatre times", scrolling over ads etc. Yes a huge population of people STILL go through all these steps. Heck, some people type in "yelp.com" in Google. SMH.

    Seriously, Internet search engines are so 1996.
    Yes searches are obsolote just like libraries. It is enough that we have communications... dumb once... but communications. It will search also for subject to suggest what we should (or should not) know and influence opinion. Have you ever thought that search engines are there so we can make our own decisions what we want to learn, read on etc. independenly of context? It comes from human inteligence - not just from interactions in form of conversations... sometimes dumb conversations. Today's people seem to be going dumb... It even works for some.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 7 of 20
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    cali said:

    Glad I'm not the only one. When Apple showed off Force Touch Wikipedia info in OS X I chuckled. (WWDC 2015?)

    Later I posted about it and everyone was like "wtf you talking about? It's for convenience only". But this convenience cuts down the steps of opening up Safari, going to google.com, searching for "Star Trek theatre times", scrolling over ads etc. Yes a huge population of people STILL go through all these steps. Heck, some people type in "yelp.com" in Google. SMH.

    Seriously, Internet search engines are so 1996.
    Yes searches are obsolote just like libraries. It is enough that we have communications... dumb once... but communications. It will search also for subject to suggest what we should (or should not) know and influence opinion. Have you ever thought that search engines are there so we can make our own decisions what we want to learn, read on etc. independenly of context? It comes from human inteligence - not just from interactions in form of conversations... sometimes dumb conversations. Today's people seem to be going dumb... It even works for some.
    go to a nice university campus and tell me libraries are obsolete. they still serve a very real purpose, internet terminals or no.
    baconstangfastasleepmike1
  • Reply 8 of 20
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,364member
    shk718 said:
    I'd like to see Apple expand the functionality of their data detectors from an active to a passive event: such as auto flight tracking and package delivery. they can detect these but not auto update and notify you as events change (flight delays, package delivery status). They also don't seem to be able to data detect calendar events on Travelocity emails which I find odd - all the information is there. I'd also like to see them link events. For example - you have a package scheduled to be delivered on a particular day - if you schedule an appointment that day they should give you a warning about the package so you don't miss the delivery. "Package XXX is scheduled to be delivered that day - you may want to make other arrangements". That to me is a true personal assistant.

    Regarding the Travelocity emails, that may be a formatting issue. And would it not be abusive for the operating system to creating additional links in hypertext? How would you know which were web links and which weren't?

    I think you're on the right track of where this is all going, and I appreciate that Apple is taking it in stride, and minding privacy. But one must wonder. How much of the data detector tech sends our content to Apple's servers for processing and how much stays privately on the device?
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Yes searches are obsolote just like libraries. It is enough that we have communications... dumb once... but communications. It will search also for subject to suggest what we should (or should not) know and influence opinion. Have you ever thought that search engines are there so we can make our own decisions what we want to learn, read on etc. independenly of context? It comes from human inteligence - not just from interactions in form of conversations... sometimes dumb conversations. Today's people seem to be going dumb... It even works for some.
    go to a nice university campus and tell me libraries are obsolete. they still serve a very real purpose, internet terminals or no.


    I think he was being sarcastic. His entire point is that auto-suggestions are removing free choice and we are being force-fed opinions and things to do.

    His argument is that the search engine helps us decide what we want to look for.

    lmagoomike1
  • Reply 10 of 20
    cali said:
    I feel like I'm the only one who notices that every release of iOS and OS X, I mean macOS, shoots down another pillar of Giggles empire.

    Simple solutions like force touch trackpads that open Wikipedia and an iPhone text like "Star Trek tonight?" that show you movie times instantly, give users less reason to take an extra step to do an Internet search with clutter and ads.

    This is apart from apps that are already hurting the Giggle empire. Now if Siri would stop being so stupid, users would have even less reason to search online on outdated websites.
    I've been watching this unfold as well, however early on I naively thought they were gonna surprise with their own search engine. Once I realized the real way to win here was to slowly but surely kill the Google search as a necessity for more and more things, it all came together. Not to say they'll never spider the web (more than they are now) but not for the end goal of a traditional search engine. As Siri continues to improve and pull more data from more sources, Googling will become like Mapquesting. 

    Also so on a side note, I am pretty happy having switched over to DuckDuckGo on all platforms. You can always add a bang (!g) to get a result from Google if you can't find what you're looking for with DDG. 
  • Reply 11 of 20

    cali said:
    slurpy said:
    cali said:
    I feel like I'm the only one who notices that every release of iOS and OS X, I mean macOS, shoots down another pillar of Giggles empire.

    Simple solutions like force touch trackpads that open Wikipedia and an iPhone text like "Star Trek tonight?" that show you movie times instantly, give users less reason to take an extra step to do an Internet search with clutter and ads.

    This is apart from apps that are already hurting the Giggle empire. Now if Siri would stop being so stupid, users would have even less reason to search online on outdated websites.
    Nope, you're not the only one. I've been witnessing a very deliberate, systematic, intelligent, and effective approach by Apple to make searches obsolete and irrelevant in a ton of common situations. Its brilliant, and these are strengthened with every iOS/OSX release.

    Glad I'm not the only one. When Apple showed off Force Touch Wikipedia info in OS X I chuckled. (WWDC 2015?)

    Later I posted about it and everyone was like "wtf you talking about? It's for convenience only". But this convenience cuts down the steps of opening up Safari, going to google.com, searching for "Star Trek theatre times", scrolling over ads etc. Yes a huge population of people STILL go through all these steps. Heck, some people type in "yelp.com" in Google. SMH.

    Seriously, Internet search engines are so 1996.
    Why would you ever go to google.com vs just using the search/URL field?
  • Reply 12 of 20
    cali said:
    I feel like I'm the only one who notices that every release of iOS and OS X, I mean macOS, shoots down another pillar of Giggles empire.

    Simple solutions like force touch trackpads that open Wikipedia and an iPhone text like "Star Trek tonight?" that show you movie times instantly, give users less reason to take an extra step to do an Internet search with clutter and ads.

    This is apart from apps that are already hurting the Giggle empire. Now if Siri would stop being so stupid, users would have even less reason to search online on outdated websites.
    You guys, in your haste to disregard something 'obsolete', all seem to be overlooking the fact that the data has to be there in the first place in order for the detectors to point to it. You also seem to be missing the fact that what your are stating a preference for is just a different interface to accomplish precisely the same utility, utilizing exactly the same resources. Without the entire, holistic system that is in place, NONE of this stuff would work, and none of the components appear as if by magic. 

    Also, trust me: until some kind of regulations are created, regardless of the form factor an interface takes in the future, Google et. al. will find a way to sell ads/harvest information on it, whether we like that they do or not! ;) 
  • Reply 13 of 20
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 333member
    cali said:
    I feel like I'm the only one who notices that every release of iOS and OS X, I mean macOS, shoots down another pillar of Giggles empire.

    Simple solutions like force touch trackpads that open Wikipedia and an iPhone text like "Star Trek tonight?" that show you movie times instantly, give users less reason to take an extra step to do an Internet search with clutter and ads.

    This is apart from apps that are already hurting the Giggle empire. Now if Siri would stop being so stupid, users would have even less reason to search online on outdated websites.
    I've been watching this unfold as well, however early on I naively thought they were gonna surprise with their own search engine. Once I realized the real way to win here was to slowly but surely kill the Google search as a necessity for more and more things, it all came together. Not to say they'll never spider the web (more than they are now) but not for the end goal of a traditional search engine. As Siri continues to improve and pull more data from more sources, Googling will become like Mapquesting. 

    Also so on a side note, I am pretty happy having switched over to DuckDuckGo on all platforms. You can always add a bang (!g) to get a result from Google if you can't find what you're looking for with DDG. 
    Duck Duck Go is my way to search when it is needed. Try to avoid Mr Giggle.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 20
    I'm excited to see how Apple's new developments in machine learning research and acquisitions improve data detection in Messages, as well as Siri capabilities. Right now query results are pretty basic, and feel a little authoritarian in that specific results come from a small amount of companies. I'm sure Apple's vision for search will eventually work in a much broader capacity, hopefully soon. Combine improved machine learning with the new AirPods, and in the near future we might be able to have more useful conversations with Siri throughout the day that "it" instigates, leading to receiving a steady stream of information that becomes more useful over time.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,763member
    cali said:

    Seriously, Internet search engines are so 1996.
    Perhaps unless you are looking for really complex hard to find data, which I do all day long. You try a search phrase, then maybe modify it a bit, use some filters, and eventually you can get the results you want. If you ask Siri, she will just say, "Here's what I found on the internet." The results are usually pretty far off the mark, but how do you suppose she found it? Search engines.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Why would you ever go to google.com vs just using the search/URL field?
    I have never understood this. A guy I used to work with would go to google.com and type in the search field "965ticfm.com", hit "enter", get the results page and then click the link to get to the website. He would do that multiple times per day for the same site. I tried to explain (by showing him) that he could simply type "965ticfm.com" right from the start, just like he would type "google.com" and go directly to the site he wanted,  saving himself a bunch of steps. He shook his head and smiled and continued doing it the longer way. I think he didn't understand that you didn't need google to go to a site that you already know he URL for. 

    Really, it's similar to the people that think Facebook IS the internet. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 17 of 20
    volcan said:
    cali said:

    Seriously, Internet search engines are so 1996.
    Perhaps unless you are looking for really complex hard to find data, which I do all day long. You try a search phrase, then maybe modify it a bit, use some filters, and eventually you can get the results you want. If you ask Siri, she will just say, "Here's what I found on the internet." The results are usually pretty far off the mark, but how do you suppose she found it? Search engines.
    For me, search engines are worse now than 10 years ago, if I want someone to mind read wrongly what I want, I'll go to a mentalist....
    For power users especially, current Google is a step back from a decade ago (although maybe not for joe schmoe, joe schmoe's searches are predictable and narrow.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,763member
    foggyhill said:
    For me, search engines are worse now than 10 years ago, if I want someone to mind read wrongly what I want, I'll go to a mentalist.... 
    For power users especially, current Google is a step back from a decade ago (although maybe not for joe schmoe, joe schmoe's searches are predictable and narrow.
    Because there is exponentially more data on the net now than a decade ago, you really need to up your search query skills. Also because there is so much cross referencing between sites, you need understand how use filters. Overall I find search algorithms much more robust today than a decade ago and much faster, especially considering how much data they have to index.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 19 of 20
    While I like the idea of Data Connectors, I find Apple's implementation to be very unreliable and unpredictable. At the moment it's nice to have whenever it decides to show up, but in 95% it's not showing up and you cannot rely on it. For instance because people format hours or telephone numbers differently. I'm pretty sure the next time I'm going to see a movie, and it's not a Hollywood blockbuster, there won't be a link to tab. 

    It's like Siri, Handoff, Airdrop and all the new AI magic Apple is adding: if it works, its great but a lot of times, it just doesn't. 
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Why would you ever go to google.com vs just using the search/URL field?
    I have never understood this. A guy I used to work with would go to google.com and type in the search field "965ticfm.com", hit "enter", get the results page and then click the link to get to the website. He would do that multiple times per day for the same site. I tried to explain (by showing him) that he could simply type "965ticfm.com" right from the start, just like he would type "google.com" and go directly to the site he wanted,  saving himself a bunch of steps. He shook his head and smiled and continued doing it the longer way. I think he didn't understand that you didn't need google to go to a site that you already know he URL for. 

    Really, it's similar to the people that think Facebook IS the internet. 
    Classic. Also, ignoring the possibility of bookmarks/favorites!

    Did you see this when it happened? Hilarious:
    http://www.themarysue.com/facebook-login-readwriteweb/
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