As amazing as Siri is now heres how it can get even

first_img‘Tis the season for Apple fans around the world to line up (or wait for the doorbell to ring) and get their hands on a shrink-wrapped, boxed-up, shiny new iPhone. Of course the killer feature of this year’s iPhone 4S is undoubtedly the A.I. assistant, Siri. As Siri is described as Beta software, you can bet that Apple is already tweaking and improving “her” capabilities. How can Siri get better?The biggest potential lies in Siri’s getting more access to third-party apps. Sure, Siri can access your contacts, email, messaging, calendar, and all other Apple-made apps, but what about third-party applications? Right now, Yelp and Wolfram Alpha appear to be the only ones in that elite group.It’s understandable why Siri wouldn’t immediately be able to access every app in the App Store. The point is for “her” to respond to everyday language, so when there are competing apps in one category, how are you going to determine which one gets Siri duty? The last thing Apple wants is for users to have to sift through a list of applications in order to choose defaults for Siri. Additionally, if Apple had been working with every developer in the App Store, preparing them for Siri integration at launch, every detail would have been leaked before Apple’s 4S event.It does appear that increased third-party access for Siri is inevitable. Unless Apple wants to develop their own app for every category imaginable, it’s the only logical way for the technology to evolve. So which third party apps will drastically improve the Siri experience?Third-party music players would be a killer addition, particularly music streaming services. Wouldn’t you love to tell Siri, “Play Exodus by Bob Marley in Rdio.” Or, better yet, choose a default music app for Siri to play when you request any song (I’m not sure if Apple would allow that, but it would be awesome). With the huge catalogs that services like Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and Mog offer, you could then hear nearly any song in existence by simply telling Siri to play it (provided you’re a subscriber).Or how about Shazam or Soundhound access for Siri? If the excellent music ID services have a downfall, it’s that you have to unlock your phone, open the app, wait for it to load, and then hit a button before it will even start ‘listening.’ By that point, the song you were trying to identify could be over. But what if you could just say “Siri, Shazam this song,” and she immediately launched the app (very quickly with the A5 processor in the 4S)?For that matter, how about a combination of Netflix and IMDB data? You could beckon Siri to “Play something from the early 90’s with Daniel Day-Lewis in it.” Within seconds, you would see The Last of the Mohicans’ opening credits.Yet another huge category of third-party apps that is missing from Siri is turn-by-turn navigation. Sure, Siri will open Maps and show you a list of directions, but you don’t get voiced real-time navigation. Having Siri connect to Tom Tom, Navigon, or even a future Apple navigation app (?) would be a shot of adrenaline to Siri’s capabilities.Facebook would be another major app for Siri to get friendly with. How about telling Siri to post something to your wall, or send a Facebook message to a friend? Or what if Siri could notify you of new friend requests, and you could tell her whether to accept them? For that matter, if you could access all of the data accessible from your friends’ profiles, you could ask Siri “what was Julie Appleseed’s major in college?” on your way to meet up with your old friend. The possibilities would be nearly endless.If we want to venture into the realm of silliness, how about asking Siri to “launch the bomb bird at the base of the tower, next to the pig with the crown.” Boom. “Siri, create a line of sunflowers, and then plant a pea shooter in the first row where a zombie appears.” Splat.The most amazing thing about Siri is that Apple is just now scratching the surface with this artificial intelligence. As much as you might be blown away by Siri’s capabilities now, we will likely look back at this as “Siri 1.0” five years from now. In much the same way that the first iPhone’s single-paged homescreen – with no third-party apps – looks primitive now, this introductory version of Siri will pale in comparison to where “she” will be then.I can’t wait.last_img

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