SiriKit Extensions added to iOS 11

Adding third party extensions to Siri is very different from adding third party extensions to Alexa or Google Home.  On Alexa and Google Home, the extensions are web based and run in the cloud.  For Siri extensions, Apple uses native Apps that run on the device, are compliled, and usually written in Swift.  SiriKit is the framework that developers use to allow their Apps to use Siri.  

With the release of the iOS 11 beta, Apple announced some new extension points in Siri, including:

  • Visual Codes - Let's users make payments, request payments or communicate contact information using a QR Code, a form of barcode, which is low cost and easily accessible.  These have not been very pouplar in the US, but they have found great popularity in China and other countries.  QR Codes are also useful in industrial situations, where the cost of printing out the code is much less expensive then using technologies like NFC or RFID .
  • Lists and Notes - where users can create to-do lists, mark them as complete or ask Siri to modify them.  Task management Apps will certainly want to add this integration point to their App.

SiriKit was first introduced with iOS 10, and gave third party developers six ways to extend their Apps to be able to integrate and respond to Siri voice commands.  These domains are: Voice Calls, Messaging, Buying and Payments, Photos, Workouts and Ride booking.  Later iOS 10.3 brought additional improvements to Sirikit with: Extended Payments support, Scheduling with Ride Booking apps, checking Car Fuel Level (for CarPlay support).  The two new domains of support being added with iOS 11 are good, because it brings more ways to use Siri in your own Apps.  





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