The World Wide Developer’s Conference may have made a big splash with the release of the brand new MacBook Pro, but the iOS 6 announcement and preview is the kind of thing that really maintains the audience. What really defined this newest iOS incarnation was how they have improved on many of its newer flagship features, such as Maps and FaceTime. Along with other updates, the iOS’s Siri has seen a step up that will make it more integrated in the expanding world of the iDevice.
Originally Siri was released through the iOS 5 along with the iPhone 4s, and was designed specifically for that phone. What the iOS 6 preview promises is that Siri will now be ported over to the new iPad, making it a feature that is going to be part of the larger iOS foundation. Since this will make Siri more permanent it may increase speculation that voice commands will become central in the new mobile computing atmosphere that Apple has been initiating with its mobile line.
Beyond this Siri has seen a lot of incremental changes that are meant to make it more useful and integrated. Since Siri often has a bit of a back and forth with the user, especially when general questions are being asked, it has been taken to school. Now it will be able to answer more detailed sports questions and its restaurant recommendations may be a little more spot on. What is actually happening is that Siri is being further plugged into OpenTable and Yelp so that reservations and reviews can be synced right into voice commands.
Additionally there will be integration into cars with a tool that will sync the iPhone’s Siri with a feature in the vehicles to pick up, and employ, the voice commands. With Toyota, GM, Mercedes, BMW, Honda, and Audi, Apple is going to be putting a piece of technology into the steering wheel for when the iPhone is docked in the car. This will allow users to work with Siri without touching, or even looking at, the iPhone. The iPhone will not appear to respond, though Siri will process commands and communicate, possibly sending text messages, emails, or making calls.
You can also command Siri to open apps themselves, which seemed strangely absent from the current version. This may help with social networking and gaming, but really it is just a small step towards Siri being in control of all aspects of your mobile device.