Apple Plans to Allow Siri to Default to Frequently-Used Third-Party Messaging Apps Later This Year

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Apple plans to release a software update later this year that will make Siri more flexible with third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger, the company told Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


Specifically, the update will enable Siri to default to the messaging app that a person uses most frequently to communicate with a given contact. For example, if an iPhone user almost always messages a friend via WhatsApp, Siri will automatically use WhatsApp rather than Apple's own iMessage.

It will still not be possible to straight-up set third-party apps as default on an iPhone. Instead, the report claims Siri will decide which messaging app to use based on interactions with specific contacts. App Store developers will need to enable the new Siri functionality in their apps when available.

Currently, users must specify the third-party app they wish to use to message someone, such as "message John with WhatsApp." Following the software update, a user could simply say "message John" and Siri would automatically know to do so via WhatsApp if it is the most frequently used app in that case.

This functionality will later be expanded to third-party phone apps for calls as well, but no timeframe was specified.

In a statement, Apple also defended the competitive landscape of the App Store in response to another Bloomberg story claiming that Apple's default apps have a growing edge over third-party options in the App Store:
Apple offers our users an experience that is only possible from the integration of hardware, software, and services. From the very first iPhone, we have included apps to provide customers with a great experience right out of the box for making phone calls, playing music, surfing the web, and more. With every generation of iPhone we have advanced the built in capabilities for our customers with a few default apps designed for great performance, long battery life, seamless integration, and industry-leading protections for security and privacy. We have also created the App Store, the safest place to get apps, so customers can choose from millions of apps to find the ones that further enhance their iPhone. In the few categories where Apple also has an app, we have many successful competitors and we're proud that their success is responsible for almost 2 million U.S. jobs in a thriving multibillion dollar market for developers. Our North Star is always to create the best products for our customers and that is why iPhone has the highest customer satisfaction in the industry.
Apple added that the Stories tab in the App Store has exclusively promoted Apple's own software only one percent of the time.

Article Link: Apple Plans to Allow Siri to Default to Frequently-Used Third-Party Messaging Apps Later This Year
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
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Good news, if Siri is supposed to be "smart" it should default to the app you use the most. Should work for messages, podcast, music and workouts.
 

Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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On a recent Vergecast podcast with John Gruber Nilay Patel was arguing that iMessage was anti-competitive because it isn’t on all platforms. But the only argument he made was when he’s on a group text and someone comes through as a green bubble it causes anxiety. WTF? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. But The Verge has been pushing this for a while now, writing stories about how green bubble friends feel inferior and other nonsense.

iMessage not being on Android isn’t anti-competitive. What would be anti-competitive is not allowing competing messaging platforms on iOS, and that’s not the case. And with this Siri change it will be even harder to claim anti-competitive. My guess is allowing iOS users to choose default apps will be coming soon as well.
 

jonnysods

macrumors 603
Sep 20, 2006
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This is a great move. Although I’d still like the ability to help siri by letting me set what app does what if she is getting it wrong. Especially when it comes to Spotify!
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 65832
Sep 29, 2014
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Great to hear. Can’t wait until this also enables using any reminders app. Saying “add milk with Things” is annoying and the error rate with saying “things” with Swedish Siri enabled is high. Add this and I’ll have no reason at all to use Apple reminders app for non shared lists at least.
 

ersan191

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2013
1,213
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Okay Apple I know you are averse to adding settings panes and you like to figure out everything automatically, but this is one thing you need an actual setting for.
 

incoherent_1

macrumors member
Oct 19, 2016
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That’s great, but I wouldn’t so frequently need third party messaging applications if iMessage wasn’t years behind the competition.

Ability to reply to, delete, favorite, edit, and pin messages would go a LONG way to getting more people to use iMessage.
 

Kabeyun

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Mar 27, 2004
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On a recent Vergecast podcast with John Gruber Nilay Patel was arguing that iMessage was anti-competitive because it isn’t on all platforms. But the only argument he made was when he’s on a group text and someone comes through as a green bubble it causes anxiety. WTF? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
Agree. This is what happens when you arm sensitive (pre-)millennials with legal terminology. Same broad idea as “it hurts my feelings therefore it must be wrong,” i.e. reaction defines reality. They both need a healthy dose of suck-it-up-buttercup.
 

ivanpasic

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2013
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Cool! Now all my whatsapp friends can also get nonsensical gibberish when I try to reply to something via CarPlay
Very correct! Having tried both Siri and Google Assistant, I have to say that Google Assistant accuracy is far superior to Siri.
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Jun 26, 2005
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Mine already does this. I said "Send a message to Stephanie" and it automatically defaulted to WhatsApp without me having to say it. I recently updated to 13.1.1.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

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Jun 19, 2010
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No no no no no. This is just the beginning of the slippery slope of turning iOS into Android with all it's craptastic alternatives. Like the eleventymillion different messaging apps.
 
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adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
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I personally would prefer Apple not do this but I also don't use any 3rd party messaging applications because I don't trust any of them.