Siri Shortcuts, which are set to come to iPhones and iPads with iOS 12, might finally let you use Siri to control third-party music streaming services, after years of only being usable with Apple Music.
While Alexa and Google Assistant can happily be used to play a wide range of different music services, Apple’s Siri voice assistant has so far stuck exclusively to controlling Apple Music.
But that is set to change with iOS 12, which will introduce a new feature called Siri Shortcuts.
Using the functionality, you’ll be able to assign specific words or phrases to open up and control specific apps.
Going beyond Tile
On stage at WWDC 2018, Apple illustrated the functionality using the app ‘Tile’ which you can use to keep track of your keys. Rather than having to open up the app, Siri Shortcuts will let you set up a specific phrase, and then simply ask Siri to locate your keys for you.
But the feature has a lot more potential for music streaming services, TechCrunch notes. In theory, you should be able to set up a Siri Shortcut to open up Spotify and then start a playlist of your choosing.
It’s nowhere near as good as the functionality offered by its competitors. We’ll have to wait for the various music streaming apps to support Suggestions for example, and even then you’ll have to program each trigger phrase individually for each artist or playlist.
But still, it’s a start. We just hope the functionality catches on enough for Apple to see the light and build Siri’s support for music streaming up to the same level of its competitors from Google and Amazon, especially when the voice assistant forms such a central part of the overall HomePod experience.
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