Apple Makes Siri More Useful, Opens It Up To Developers

With Google making its voice-activated assistant becoming increasingly conversational, and Amazon’s Alexa learning how to gauge your emotional feedback, Apple is making its Siri virtual assistant more competitive by opening it up to developers of third-party apps.

At this morning’s World Wide Developers’ Conference, Apple announced that the Siri API, which allows it to interact with other software, is going to available so that non-Apple developers can integrate Siri voice search and activation.

According to Apple, when the new iOS operating system for Apple’s iPhone and iPad launches, Siri will already be integrated into a number of apps. Messaging services like Slack, WhatsApp, and WeChat will allow users to user Siri to send messages. You will be able to hail a ride with your voice on the Uber and Lyft apps, send money via Number26 or SquareCash, make calls on Vonage or Skype, or search for photos on Shutterfly or Pinterest.

Apple is also opening up Maps to developers, allowing them to build extensions that plug write into the mapping app. You’ll be able to look up a restaurant on Maps, book a table via the OpenTable extension, then hail an Uber, all without leaving the Maps app.