Apple deprecates some third-party Siri APIs starting in iOS 15, macOS Monterey

in iOS
When iOS 15 and other fall updates arrive, developers will no longer be able to target a handful of Shortcut APIs, notably ones for ride-sharing requests and CarPlay controls.

Old Shortcut APIs are being deprecated
Old Shortcut APIs are being deprecated

When Shortcuts first launched, developers had to target specific intents in order to have certain requests work with Siri, like ride sharing. Apple will be deprecating these old APIs with the release of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8.

In a developer support page first spotted by MacRumors, Apple lists a total of 22 SiriKit commands that will stop functioning in the fall. Developers will not need to remove the APIs, but will need to remove any portion of the app that promotes them.

The deprecated commands include controlling CarPlay functions, adding items to a specific note, paying bills, searching Photos, and hailing an Uber.

Apple has not provided reasons for its API deprecation, nor has it described an alternative. However, it appears as though developers can write custom intents for Siri, so companies like Uber can create a pathway to ride-booking without the dedicated API.

These old APIs existed before the Shortcuts redesign that enabled custom intents and more programmable logic. Originally, Shortcuts could only be donated by an app once a specific action was performed.

For example, if a user booked a ride with Uber, it could show up as an optional Siri Shortcut donated by the app. However, donated Shortcuts were static and lacked customization features of user-built Shortcuts.

Now, all available Shortcut actions within a given app are available within the Shortcuts app, as long as the developer uses the new API. Some Shortcuts, like those that use custom SiriKit domains, are still hidden behind donation actions within the app.

Custom Shortcut intents are described in Apple's sample project called "Soup Chef." Once a custom intent is created, the developer can target a specific action within their app with a specific phrase or command.

While this could be a solution for apps like Uber, it doesn't solve for the missing CarPlay intents.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 2
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,131member
    I'm confused whether this is a case of "deprecated" versus "no longer supported."

    When an API is deprecated it is still supported in the release/version in which it is declared as deprecated. Its use is highly discouraged because it will no longer work in future versions of the API, possibly as early as the very next version after the current one, which is iOS 15 in this case. The article says the affected APIs will "stop functioning in the fall" which sounds a whole lot like it's a "not supported" case rather than a "deprecated" case. In contrast, the statement "Developers will not need to remove the APIs, but will need to remove any portion of the app that promotes them" sounds more along the lines of deprecation. So which is it, "stop working" and "no alternative" (which implies not supported) versus "not need to remove" which implies deprecated?

    This isn't really about word choices. Deprecation is one of the thoughtful policies of good API version management. It gives API clients an advanced warning that something that they may depend on in the API will no longer work in the next release/version of the API. It gives clients an opportunity to make required changes to their apps so their apps are not broken suddenly and unexpectedly, which would occur if APIs are removed without deprecating them in the previous release/version.

    If Apple is deprecating these APIs as part of the iOS 15 release, the APIs should not be removed or stop working until at least iOS 16. Sure, Apple can institute whatever deprecation policies they want on their APIs, and there are variations out there such as time based ones, e.g., one year, but dropping support for an API without sufficient warning would be very unusual unless it involved a security issue.
    edited July 2021 appleinsideruser
  • Reply 2 of 2
    So no more asking Siri to add an item to my Notes shopping list? The world is doomed! 😱
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