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‘Siri, get me an Uber!’ Apple opens up Siri to third-party developers

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At WWDC 2016, Apple’s virtual assistant Siri might have gotten its biggest update since it launched almost four years ago.

The headliner is that Apple will finally open Siri up to third-party developers. The Siri software development kit brings access to applications and third-party content to Siri. For example, iOS users can send a WeChat message to their friends, by asking Siri to send a specific message in the app, and Siri will show you your message before it sends. Furthermore, iOS users can ask Siri to search for photos in Shutterfly and Pinterest, set workouts through RunKeeper and Runtastic, or book car rides with Lyft, Uber, and Didi.

The newly open Siri won’t be limited to iOS, however, as the new Siri will also work with CarPlay and on Mac OS.

In addition to opening up Siri to developers, Apple will also port Siri’s brains to the keyboard. For example, through the use of “deep learning,” iOS 10’s keyboard will bring up relevant calendar information and look through your messages to pre-fill calendar information. Through Siri, the keyboard will offer other suggestions, such as multilingual typing, current location, and recent addresses.

To allay fears that Apple would be storing all of the information garnered from this “deep learning,” the company confirmed that, similar to Apple Pay, it will take place on the device, so your info stays secure. “When it comes to performing analysis of your data, we’re doing it all on your devices, keeping your personal data under your control,” said Apple’s Craig Federighi.

It may seem like Apple is playing catch-up with the enhanced Siri, especially when you consider the smarts of competitors like Google Now and Cortana, but these are big improvements.

The revamped Siri will be part of iOS 10, which will be available as a developer preview download on June 13 and widely available sometime during the fall.

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