Apple Details Siri Updates Alongside 'Shortcuts' App to Create Customized Voice-Controlled Workflows

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple has revealed a collection of Siri improvements coming to iOS 12, centered around a new app called "Shortcuts." Shortcuts will let users connect certain third-party apps to Siri to greatly streamline voice controls. For example, the Tile app will let you add a shortcut to Siri so you can say "I lost my keys," activating Siri and showing Tile actions right in the Siri UI.

    Other examples include creating a Shortcut to automatically open an app when you get to the gym every day, turning on Do Not Disturb at the movies, calling a family member on their birthday, and more. With the Shortcuts app, all of these customizable edits can be added and connected to an invokable Siri phrase.

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    Apple gave another example where a person created a Shortcut from the Kayak app, connecting their hotel address with the Siri phrase "Travel Plans." So, when they quickly needed to get the address all they had to do was say "Travel Plans" to Siri and it came up immediately.

    Far more intricate Shortcuts will be available, with one Siri phrase able to do things like adjust HomeKit thermostats, text a friend, read the news, and more, by simply saying something like "Hey Siri, I'm heading home."

    Article Link: Apple Details Siri Updates Alongside 'Shortcuts' App to Create Customized Voice-Controlled Workflows
     
  2. e-coli macrumors 68000

    e-coli

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    #2
    Finally. If it works, this is huge news. It’s Apple’s biggest blind spot to date.
     
  3. Freakstyles macrumors newbie

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    #3
    We finally know why they acquired Workflow. Reminds me of Alexa skills but user created which is more personal and a lot better.
     
  4. mazz0 macrumors 68000

    mazz0

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    #4
    Rather seems like making the user do themselves what the AI isn’t smart enough to do itself.
     
  5. AlbinoPigeon macrumors regular

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    #5
    This is huge! Let's hope they keep up support for it and improve as it matures. Otherwise it'll turn into another Automator gathering dust.
     
  6. palmerc2 macrumors 68000

    palmerc2

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    #6
    Will I finally be able to use Siri with Spotify...?
     
  7. Khedron macrumors 65816

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    #7
    What world are the people thinking of these shortcuts living in? You're going surfing and need the phone to send you a reminder to use suncream? You drink a coffee every morning and need reminding of that fact?

    Solution in need of a problem.
     
  8. Tpoccu2 macrumors newbie

    Tpoccu2

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    The reminder of the coffee wasn’t really the point, the point was it was able to bring up her regular order without her having to find the app, go into it and make the necessary selections each time. The scenarios they presented are likely to seem useless to a lot of people but I’m sure you can think of plenty of tedious tasks you perform on your phone that might be expedited by this process even if other people would think there was little value in it.
     
  9. rtomyj macrumors 6502a

    rtomyj

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    #9
    What? This is a good way to open Siri up without categorizing every action. The user sets the scenes and the apps can allow interactions to the users. It’s pretty brilliant.
     
  10. keifer.street, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018

    keifer.street macrumors regular

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    #10
    So this is what they meant when they said Siri was about to get a whole lot smarter?

    If this is their idea of ‘a whole lot smarter’, Apple’s Siri team is in big trouble.

    They’re already years behind Google Assistant and Alexa at voice recognition accuracy and these other AI assistants have many more domain areas of inquiry than Siri does. Google Assistant and Alexa also offer tons of third party support.

    All this change does is allow some shortcuts for more efficient workflows. I can guarantee you that they won’t allow it to control Spotify.

    All the things people really wanted - like the ability use Siri to control third party apps like Spotify, better voice recognition, and added domains of inquiry - we’re all tragically overlooked, much like the map POI and routing paths in Maps (like routing the endpoint of a trip all the way to the POI instead of a 1,000 yd radius, leaving the user to guess where to drive to park to the place they’re trying to go).

    I was hoping they were going to use their ‘differential privacy’ model to announce they’ve been able to anonymously crowdsource big data over the past few years to bring big enhancements to voice recognition and domains to Siri.

    When are you going to wake up, Apple?
     
  11. JimmyHook macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    AI is still wonky. I can mke my own custom actions far better than any Google AI ever could
     
  12. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

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    #12
    Bull. There’s no way to account for all use-cases. Shortcut actions gives users access to countless use-cases, by setting actions specific to them. Hey Siri, upload to Imgur. Etc.
     
  13. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68000

    H3LL5P4WN

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    #13
    Hello Police? I'd like to report a mass murder in the future.

    Apple is going to kill Google Assistant & Home, Amazon Alexa, and IFTT this fall.
     
  14. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

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    #14
    Forgetting sunscreen is a common problem for a great number of people. And just an example.
     
  15. Khedron macrumors 65816

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    #15
    So instead of suffering the ordeal of opening a coffee app and clicking on a favourites tab Apple have found a way to make users program pop-up adverts for themselves?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2018 ---
    This kind of keynote should be presenting the best examples but the ones they did seem desperately seeking a purpose. If you're in such a hurry to go surfing at a moment's notice without time to manually launch a weather app perhaps just keep the sunscreen with your surfboard?
     
  16. midkay macrumors regular

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    #16
    This seems very powerful. The open-ended approach of letting apps expose their actions and letting the user choose which they’d like to use and how they’d like to phrase their Siri requests isn’t what I expected, but I think it might be a great solution. It seems like a big step forward from slowly adding 2-3 specific Siri domains per year as they’ve done in the past, and involving the user in setting up the Siri query seems necessary since you can’t just let apps start adding their own voice commands to Siri ad-hoc, it would be impossible to manage.

    The ‘Shortcuts’ workflow app does seem very power-user centric, but the way they showed typical everyday apps presenting the user with an option of adding a Siri action seemed very reasonable and simple, and the fact that the user chooses the phrase makes it clear and helps them remember it, and keeps Siri uncluttered of hundreds of useless / potentially conflicting commands from crappy apps or for actions you just don’t care about. I’m pretty sure this is a solid approach. I can’t wait to try it.
     
  17. Freakstyles macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I place the same order with Starbucks on my way to work, Just this morning as I'm driving and swiping through the apps that my kid moved around I was thinking it would be cool if I could use Siri to place the order, While I didn't see anything today that said all of the shortcuts will work with voice commands we are one step closer.
     
  18. Wide opeN macrumors 65816

    Wide opeN

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    #18
    One time yes, but then it's EXACTLY what you want thereafter ‍♂️
     
  19. macduke macrumors G4

    macduke

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    #19
    This is going to be really useful! This is why Apple bought Workflow a couple years ago. I can't wait to build some automations. I feel like this is a step to getting to the point where Siri does a lot of this for us automatically. They might use automations customers build to help train Siri to do things for us automatically in the future. For now Siri might not be much smarter, but at least I can make her smarter by using my own brain to build concoctions. It would be really great if people could bundle this actions up and share them like on IFTTT.
     
  20. tennisproha macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Exactly. This shouldn't be lauded, it needs to be criticized. Because Siri sucks, Apple is making users do the legwork, via Workflow, that Siri should be doing using AI. They're basically putting a bandage on a broken smart assistant. It's glorified Automater.
     
  21. Wide opeN macrumors 65816

    Wide opeN

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    #21
     
  22. Krayzkat Suspended

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    #22
    I'm going to create a shortcut for when i get new iOS products.

    It'll go something like this:

    me- "Hey Siri, 'turn off Siri'."
    Siri- "Disabling Siri"
    me- "ak aye that Siri c*nt is still useless, i canna take anymore Captain"
     
  23. Wide opeN macrumors 65816

    Wide opeN

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    One time yes, but then it's EXACTLY what you want thereafter.
     
  24. Khedron macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Amazon already did this better. Get a Starbucks Amazon Dash button and stick it on your dashboard. Far safer than using a smartphone when driving too (even handsfree, which Apple's solution still isn't).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2018 ---
    The disappointing thing for me is it's as if Apple are expecting or asking their customers to live such repetitive lives that they can be summarised by a simple scripting language.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2018 ---
    Amazon: Alexa has skills
    Apple: User needs skills

    The other thing it reminds me of is Android desktop widgets. Maybe Apple just needs to admit their decade-old UI is now out of date and could do with features like this? The order coffee widget and sunscreen reminder could be put on an Android desktop today without the need for a separate scripting app.
     
  25. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #25
    The share button is in the editor (looking at the app from the keynote video). :D Also saw a scripting button along with some familiar actions.
     

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