Eight Siri features we want to see in iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 at WWDC ...

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in iOS edited June 1
Siri has grown by leaps and bounds after being acquired by Apple and launching in beta on the iPhone 4S. With WWDC in a week, let's talk about what we'd love to see included in iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS 10.14.





WWDC 18, set for June 4 through June 8, is where Apple is nearly guaranteed to introduce the latest versions of their operating systems, all of which support Siri in different ways.

After the introduction of the HomePod, it has become glaringly obvious how Siri has fallen behind the competition. When it comes to improving Siri, there's a lot to talk about, but here are our top requests for what we hope Apple will announce.

Find your phone

Apple has introduced several ways of finding a misplaced iPhone. Use the ping functionality on the Apple Watch or use the Find My iPhone App on the web or on another iOS device.




What's missing? The ability to use Siri. It could work two ways.

First, one could just holler "Hey Siri!" into a room where the iPhone has been misplaced. Siri could them respond in a loud ping or some other audio cue to help the phone get found.

The feature could be launched on the the HomePod or Apple TV. Ask the HomePod where your phone is, and if it is in the same home, it could let out a series of pings until found.

Everyone misplaces their phone at one point or another and adding this functionality to Siri on the phone, as well as to whole-home devices like the Apple TV or HomePod makes perfect sense.

Multiple related commands




Siri does well for simple tasks, but when compounded, she falls apart. We want to be able to ask Siri a series of commands at once. This can be useful in a variety of areas, but especially in when dealing with HomeKit.

Ask Siri to "turn on the kitchen lights, set them to 50 percent, and make them warm white" and she will not be able to follow through. Similarly if asked a phrase akin to "search for AppleInsider in the App Store", Siri will respond something along the lines of, "Searching the Web for 'AppleInsider in the App Store.'" and return a Google search. Not exactly what was desired.

These queries can certainly be harder to pull off, but they are essential to making Siri more conversational and natural.

Better recognition and responses

There are too many errors and inconsistencies in the responses Siri provides across the board.

Especially when it comes to multiple related questions. One of the best (worst) examples of this is one we saw on Twitter:

"Hey Siri, what's this song?

*Siri correctly answers "Somebody to love" by Abhi the Nomad*

Hey Siri, who plays guitar on this track?

*Siri tells me the band members of Jefferson Airplane who played an unrelated song similarly titled "Somebody to love" 40 years ago.*"


This can be frustrating, and could easily turn users away from using Siri.

Person recognition for Apple TV and HomePod

Something we heard a lot of preceding the HomePod launch was requests for multi-user support.




On the Apple TV or the HomePod, this would allow a user to ask Siri to check their calendar or read their email, and Siri to know who was asking and provide the correct responses.

This could apply to Apple Music too. If someone asks Siri on the HomePod to play favorites, she could tap into the specific user's favorite tracks. That way, Siri could provide personalized recommendations to everyone in the home.

Other smart speakers can already do this, so why can't Siri?

Open up to developers

Apple's list of applications that can tap into Siri has grown consistently, but adding one or two category types is simply not going to cut it going forward. More apps need to be able to interface with the digital assistant.

Alexa is the most shining example. We can use Alexa to feed our pets, learn fun facts, start our car, order a pizza, and so much more. It simply isn't even close.

This may have been more acceptable when Siri was limited to your iPhone or Apple Watch, but with Siri on the Apple TV and HomePod, these restrictions are starting to hinder her.

Alexa has installable "skills" that you can browse, similar to the apps for iMessage. Thousands are available including things like "Harry Potter Trivia", "Jeopardy", and many games. Admittedly, a lot of skills are garbage, but there is certainly a fair share of impressive options.

Other streaming services




HomePod can stream your iTunes match library or Apple Music, but nothing from any other service. Yes, you could play Spotify and other apps by using AirPlay from another device, but that isn't ideal.

To really compete with other smart speakers, Siri and HomePod need to support other streaming services and audio apps.

Turn on the flashlight

Siri currently can change many different settings on your phone, like disabling Bluetooth. It doesn't, however, have the ability to toggle the flashlight.

It seems like an odd limitation to not be able to trigger some settings, like the flashlight. For consistency sake, Siri should be able to control this too.

HomeKit support on the Mac




HomeKit support isn't solely Siri's responsibility, but it is something we've wanted for a while. When Siri debuted on the Mac, HomeKit support was surprisingly absent, but recent rumblings have suggested the tides may be changing on this.

Wrap up

A crucial balance for Apple has been between adding additional features to Siri, while still maintaining privacy. It is probably one of the biggest differentiators between Siri and any other smart assistant.

Apple has utilized advanced techniques such as differential privacy to keep your data secure but at some point, the feature gap between Siri and the competitors becomes too much to bear. We aren't suggesting Apple abandons its efforts for privacy but finds a way to maintain privacy while adding some additional flagship features.

What do you most want to see from Siri at WWDC?
patchythepirate
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    webjivewebjive Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    What about "Hey SIRI, answer the phone" and "Hey SIRi, answer on speaker phone" This way I don't have to run over and slide to answer.
    equality72521Alex1NbeowulfschmidtpatchythepirateAvieshek
  • Reply 2 of 56
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    webjive said:
    What about "Hey SIRI, answer the phone" and "Hey SIRi, answer on speaker phone" This way I don't have to run over and slide to answer.
    Ohh!! That is a great one! Love that!
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 3 of 56
    asciiascii Posts: 5,851member
    Some good ideas there! 

    I would like to see it answer to "Computer?" instead of "Hey Siri!" I was taught growing up that yelling "Hey!" was rude. And using the brand name all the time ("Siri") makes me feel like a shill. One of the rules of product design is to make the customer feel good, but this product makes me feel bad before I've even stated my query.
    caladanianAlex1Nwilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 56
    Multi-user support is quickly becoming a necessity (and the first-party tools already exist in iOS for this). We (a family of four) have a HomePod in the dining room. I have a workaround with a fifth account that the HomePod is signed-in with and gets playlists shared to... but this is silly. It should be able to identify the voice and know it needs to look at that user's library and settings. On the Apple TV side: Yeah, if I watch something I don't want the kids watching, why are they able to see the thumbnails? Why are they able to browse my queue? If Netflix and Hulu and others can have multi-user profiles, then Apple can do it, too.
    jdgazAlex1Njony0williamlondonpatchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 56
    Probably easier in the long run to just create a variety of lighting scenes for your kitchen than reciting a laundry list of commands every time. Telling Siri to use a specific scene is shorter/easier.
  • Reply 6 of 56
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    Probably easier in the long run to just create a variety of lighting scenes for your kitchen than reciting a laundry list of commands every time. Telling Siri to use a specific scene is shorter/easier.
    It would if it is a regular set of commands. If it is a one-off, it would require three commands to make happen if I wanted to turn the lights on, to a certain brightness, and a specific color. Or I wanted to turn on multiple lights. "Turn on the Kitchen cabinets and the bar lights to 50%".
  • Reply 7 of 56
    ivanhivanh Posts: 209member
    Is that all for Siri? What a shame.
    williamlondonAvieshek
  • Reply 8 of 56
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,732member
    "First, one could just holler "Hey Siri!" into a room where the iPhone has been misplaced. Siri could them respond in a loud ping or some other audio cue to help the phone be located."

    Isn't this how Siri normally works?

    "Siri currently can change many different settings on your phone, like disabling Bluetooth. It doesn't, however, have the ability to toggle the flashlight."

    If I'm holding the phone to use as a flashlight, why would I need Siri to turn on the flashlight?!


    cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 56
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    mike1 said:
    "First, one could just holler "Hey Siri!" into a room where the iPhone has been misplaced. Siri could them respond in a loud ping or some other audio cue to help the phone be located."

    Isn't this how Siri normally works?

    "Siri currently can change many different settings on your phone, like disabling Bluetooth. It doesn't, however, have the ability to toggle the flashlight."

    If I'm holding the phone to use as a flashlight, why would I need Siri to turn on the flashlight?!


    No, when you say Hey, Siri she will wait for you to say a command. After a few moments, she will say something like "I'm listening". What I'm looking for is like a loud pinging tone akin to when you use your Apple Watch or Find My iPhone. Siri doesn't make any noises this loud.

    You could say the same thing about almost everything Siri can do. If I'm holding the phone, why do I need Siri to toggle off the WiFi? If I'm holding the phone, why do I need Siri to text someone for me? It's partially a consistency thing part accessibility thing. If the phone is unlocked, I'm not sure my grandmother would know to open Control Center and find the flashlight toggle, but she does use Siri most of the time.
    wlymAlex1Nbonobobpatchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 56
    This is just feature matching Google Assistant. What about something more proactive? Read my email and tell me if I can switch to a different utility/insurance co to save money. Look at my travel history and suggest the perfect vacation for next year. Look out for a good deal on something I need to buy and ask me if I want to order it. I want Scarlett from Her, I'm sick of dumb assistants.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 56
    ajminnjajminnj Posts: 14member
    mike1 said:
    "First, one could just holler "Hey Siri!" into a room where the iPhone has been misplaced. Siri could them respond in a loud ping or some other audio cue to help the phone be located."

    Isn't this how Siri normally works?

    "Siri currently can change many different settings on your phone, like disabling Bluetooth. It doesn't, however, have the ability to toggle the flashlight."

    If I'm holding the phone to use as a flashlight, why would I need Siri to turn on the flashlight?!


    No, when you say Hey, Siri she will wait for you to say a command. After a few moments, she will say something like "I'm listening". What I'm looking for is like a loud pinging tone akin to when you use your Apple Watch or Find My iPhone. Siri doesn't make any noises this loud.

    You could say the same thing about almost everything Siri can do. If I'm holding the phone, why do I need Siri to toggle off the WiFi? If I'm holding the phone, why do I need Siri to text someone for me? It's partially a consistency thing part accessibility thing. If the phone is unlocked, I'm not sure my grandmother would know to open Control Center and find the flashlight toggle, but she does use Siri most of the time.

    I am not sure that I like this solution, but I agree with the concept.  Maybe, "Hey Siri, Where are you?" would be better, so it actually has a command to trigger the ping.
  • Reply 12 of 56
    MbasileMbasile Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    If you ask Siri “Hey Siri, Where are you?” it will answer “Here.” Used it countless times... :-)
    StrangeDaysAlex1Ncornchipajminnj
  • Reply 13 of 56
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 438member
    More support for deep settings, especially everything in Accessibility.

    and "Turn Wifi/Airplane Mode/Bluetooth on|off"
  • Reply 14 of 56
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    ajminnj said:
    mike1 said:
    "First, one could just holler "Hey Siri!" into a room where the iPhone has been misplaced. Siri could them respond in a loud ping or some other audio cue to help the phone be located."

    Isn't this how Siri normally works?

    "Siri currently can change many different settings on your phone, like disabling Bluetooth. It doesn't, however, have the ability to toggle the flashlight."

    If I'm holding the phone to use as a flashlight, why would I need Siri to turn on the flashlight?!


    No, when you say Hey, Siri she will wait for you to say a command. After a few moments, she will say something like "I'm listening". What I'm looking for is like a loud pinging tone akin to when you use your Apple Watch or Find My iPhone. Siri doesn't make any noises this loud.

    You could say the same thing about almost everything Siri can do. If I'm holding the phone, why do I need Siri to toggle off the WiFi? If I'm holding the phone, why do I need Siri to text someone for me? It's partially a consistency thing part accessibility thing. If the phone is unlocked, I'm not sure my grandmother would know to open Control Center and find the flashlight toggle, but she does use Siri most of the time.

    I am not sure that I like this solution, but I agree with the concept.  Maybe, "Hey Siri, Where are you?" would be better, so it actually has a command to trigger the ping.
    I'm sorry, I thought that is how I had described it in the piece. That is what I am looking for. I don't want it to make a loud noise every time, but when you ask where she is. Just like you described.
  • Reply 15 of 56
    f1ferrarif1ferrari Posts: 262member
    I definitely would love to use multiple commands with Siri, and user recognition for HomePod is a must. How can the device be for “the home” but limited to my iPhone being in WiFi range when my wife just wants to reply to a text while washing dishes?
  • Reply 16 of 56
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 70member
    This again tells us how limited these voice assistants are... They cannot do such simple things.
    Alex1Nwilliamlondonboxcatcher
  • Reply 17 of 56
    I honestly just want Siri to work together across all Apple os in a way that makes life a little easier.Why can’t I say hey Siri ,play the latest episode of something on my Apple TV or if I’m watching a music video on my Apple TV say hey Siri ,play this song on my HomePod .I feel like I have 20 different Siri in my home that don’t know each other.
    king editor the grateAlex1Ncornchipfrantisekpatchythepirate
  • Reply 18 of 56
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,389member
    YES to streaming free Internet radio stations on the HomePod and in iOS Music app.  And sync playlist items that are Internet radio streams between iTunes on Mac and Apple Music app on iOS.
    I subscribe to Apple Music and it's still bullsh*t that Apple doesn't provide free Internet radio streaming on iOS like it does in iTunes on Mac.  I could give a rat's @ss about the impact it would have on Tune-In. I hope Apple isn't limited by some contract with that company or so pathetically desperate to grow Music subscriptions.  Amazon has no such qualms in supporting Internet radio streams on Echos.  NPR is supported on HomePod but it's nearly 3 minutes behind live! what's up with that?
    edited April 11 Alex1N
  • Reply 19 of 56
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 150member
    How about offloading a subset of Siri commands so they’re interpreted on the device?
  • Reply 20 of 56
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,620member
    ivanh said:
    Is that all for Siri? What a shame.
    Yes we get it, you hate Apple, batteries, Siri, etc.. 
    cornchipwilliamlondon
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