Siri at the beach

Recently I posted an article speculating how a Siri API would function if it were to be announced at WWDC. Well, yesterday was keynote day and it was announced. This doesn't mean I have developed prescience but sometimes there is a fire where you see smoke.

What made me most happy was that, from the functional standpoint I was writing, I was 100% correct in how it would work. Go me. Not implying I'm so smart, more that I've been doing this for quite a while now and some things are obvious to those of us who follow these things.

The one thing I didn't really go into detail with is how likely it is that the API would be limited to just a few use cases during its first release. This also was true, but the use cases they support in this release surprised me in exactly how limited they really are. Here are the use cases supported:

  • ride booking (think Uber)
  • messaging
  • Photo Search (find photos and videos in a particular app)
  • payments (‘Send $100 to John with SquareCash’)
  • VoIP Calling (e.g: Skype)
  • Workouts (for starting health and fitness activities)

While this is great, and it absolutely get better, this is a bit disappointing that developers can't register their own intents. I understand why this is as you need to build a great foundation before you can build a great building, yet given the time they have had to work through this (5 years), we could have hoped for more.

It's Apple's platform and they will do what they want, so this isn't a complaint so much as pointing out that we might have unrealistic expectations. Our expectations and wants really need not apply.

This does allow us the opportunity though to put together another list of intents that we could really want for the future. Here is my quick list (from the beach, thus the title of this post) of future intents that I think would be fantastic for Apple to add in the future.

  • Games. Adding friends, controlling video feeds, spending points and selecting levels.
  • Food. Reservations, ordering and loyalty.
  • Social. Share, post and "like".
  • Photos. Share, message, edit and capture.
  • Device. Reboot, log in, sleep.
  • Web. Search, navigate.
  • Develop. Write code, compile, test and deploy.
  • Location. Search, check-in and annotate what you did there.

These are just the items that come to mind in a few minutes of effort. What developers come up with over time will dwarf these use cases in both scope and usefulness. It is an interesting future in front of us.

Ted Hardy

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