App Intents

Apple WWDC Showcases App Intents API for Siri Shortcuts

Apple shared a lot of updates at WWDC this year. One of the most notable from the developer point of view is the new App Intents API, which will allow shortcuts to work across apps without the need to set them up manually.

Intents API

The App Intents API essentially integrates third-party apps into the Siri ecosystem more efficiently. It allows users to run and control third-party apps through Siri as though they were native Apple apps like Mail or Calendar. Apple clearly wants to encourage more developers to create mobile apps with Siri in mind instead of writing it off as not worth the extra effort. Openness to third-party apps is not something Siri has been known for. In fact, Apple has dealt with pressure from app developers for years to make the voice assistant a bigger part of their product. There’s no Siri OS, which means there’s a limit to the way developers can include voice controls without Apple’s direct intervention. Siri’s library is smaller than the many thousands of third-party commands available to Alexa and Google Assistant.

The new Intents API serves to augment the strategy Apple unveiled last year at WWDC for Siri to be accessible through devices built with Apple HomeKit. Users can access the voice assistant on any approved device connected to their network. That was also when Apple said it would support the Matter interoperability standard. That brings it into line with many others, including Samsung, Amazon, and Google, so Siri may soon be counted among their respective voice assistants as options for smart home ecosystems.

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