iOS 11 improvements to Siri

Apple revealed the new features in iOS 11 at their WWDC developer event last week.  Craig Federighi spend several minutes (well, slightly under three minutes to be exact) to show the new features of Siri.  It is not clear if these changes are only on iOS or if they will extend to macOS, tvOS and the HomePod.  

Siri is used on 375 million active devices monthly, and this is in 21 languages in 36 countries. 

Siri (mostly) works in the cloud, so these changes should take effect anywhere.  However, in my own tests they are not yet available in the current version of iOS (10).  Here is what is coming:

  • Better sounding voice for male and female.  The new ones sound great.    
  • Translation.  Ability to translate a phrase to another language.  This supports English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish.  You can say "Hey Siri, how do you say what are the most popular dishes in your restaurant in Spanish", and she will respond with the exact phrase in Spanish.
  • SiriKit has been extended.  This is for developers, but should allow for more functionality to customers, as the enhancements find themselves into third party Apps. This also includes QR Codes.  Apps which will be using this: OmniFocus 2, Citi Mobile, Evernote, Things 3, WeChat. 
  • Visual Interface, which also provides follow up questions and more interaction.
  • Siri Intelligence. Siri is supposed to understand conext now.  She knows your interests and your habits and will use that in her queries.  
  • On device learning.  So, if you are browsing Safari, Siri will use that data as a point of context when you ask for information.

The improvements follow the Apple playbook perfectly - incremental improvements.  

 

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