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SiriKit on iOS 12: Tantaliginzly Close

Great post by Ben Dodson about the SiriKit additions that Apple is bringing to iOS 12. In many ways, Siri has to make a quantum leap ahead to catch its competitors, and the new features in iOS 12 are a huge improvement:

When I dug into the code, I found this new Intents.intentdefinition file with which you can create custom intents complete with paramater binding... This sure looks like the much anticipated ability to write your own Siri code!

There is no question that Siri has made a huge leap forward with Siri in iOS 12, but unfortunately its not quite there yet:

It turns out that isn’t the case. The new custom intents are for “Siri the all-seeing widget assistant” not for “Siri the thing you control with your voice”. These custom intents are designed to be created for very specific use cases and then exposed as shortcuts so that you can access them quickly from your lock screen, add them to a workflow, or activate them with a custom voice command that the user creates. Despite the schema being present and the documentation alluding to voice control, you cannot create your own custom commands such as “Order tomato soup with cheese”.

So close, yet so far! I am very much looking forward to the significant Siri improvements that are present in iOS, but more importantly, its clear that Apple has laid the groundwork in a very novel way for a fully programmable Siri.