iOS 6 to Bring Major Improvements to Siri [Video]

At Apple’s WWDC keynote earlier this week, Scott Forstall announced some much needed updates to Siri as a part of the iOS 6 software release.

With this upgrade, Siri would be able to respond to your sports, restaurants and movie related queries, give you turn-by-turn directions, open apps and update your status on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s a walkthrough of all the new features and improvements coming to Siri in iOS 6.

Sports

Siri can now understand and answer your sports related queries. So you can now simply speak to Siri and get game schedules, scores, player info and team records. Siri supports baseball, basketball, football, soccer and hockey including a number of sports leagues, listed below:

  • Italian Serie A
  • English Premier League
  • MLS
  • French Ligue 1
  • Dutch Eredivisie
  • Spanish La Liga
  • German Bundeliga
  • MLB
  • NCAA Football
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NCAA Basketball
  • WNBA
  • NHL
Siri’s AI engine is really good at understanding comparison queries like “who is taller LeBron or Kobe,” and of course coming up with the right answer.

Movies

Along with sports, Siri also gained the ability to understand movie related queries. By tapping into Rotten Tomatoes’ database, Siri can now show you movie reviews and ratings. She can also tell you movie listings based on location or showtime.

Movie information is presented in a neat card that aggregates all relevant information, and packages them in a compact view. The information shown includes awards, cast, ratings and trailers. You could even directly ask Siri to play a trailer, which is then played in the movie player.

Queries like “who directed a movie”, “show me movies starring Scarlett Johanson” are also understood by Siri.

Restaurants

Siri does handle local queries presently, but with iOS 6 it has gained a number of restaurant specific features. You can now find restaurants based on cuisine, price, location and ratings. Siri is also integrated with Yelp and Open Table, which means you can see reviews, ratings, and photos of restaurants within Siri, and if you like a place you can tell Siri to take you in to the OpenTable app to make a reservation.

Social

Following Apple’s theme of building social features into iOS, Siri has also gained the ability to post to Facebook and Twitter. You can now dictate your status to Siri and choose to post it on Facebook or Twitter.

Opening apps (finally!)

This is such an obvious feature that we were surprised Siri didn’t ship with this at launch. You can now saw “play Temple Run” or “open Facebook” and Siri would take you to the app, assuming of course that it is actually installed on your device.

Siri loses its exclusivity

This one’s another “finally”. Siri had been exclusive to the iPhone for almost 8 months, and with iOS 6 the new iPad also gets Siri. Except for the interface, Siri on both devices would offer the exact same functionality.

Language support

Siri previously understood accents and languages of 6 countries — U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany and Japan. With iOS 6 Siri now understands accents and languages of 15 countries.

ios 6 siri country support

Local Search available globally

International iPhone 4S users will be extremely happy to know that Apple has expanded Siri’s local search capabilities to all countries, so you can now search for coffee shops, restaurants, hotels anywhere in the world. Previously local search was confined to the U.S.

Here’s a video demoing of the local search feature working in Canada:

Listen to notifications

Just like you could tell Siri to read your incoming messages, you can now tell it to read your notifications

Eyes Free

Realizing the utility of Siri while driving, Apple will be working with car manufacturers to integrate a button right into the steering wheel of the car that, on being pressed, fires up Siri. Since speaking to Siri doesn’t require looking at the screen, the iPhone’s screen won’t even light up unless Siri’s response requires. You can call or message your contacts, get directions, read notifications and do a lot more while you’re driving.

The feature will be integrated with cars from BMW, General Motors, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Toyota, Honda and Chrysler in the next 12 months.

Here’s the hands-on video of Siri in iOS 6 courtesy GottaBeMobile:

Let us know what you think of the improvements coming to Siri in iOS 6. Do you think you will be using it even more after upgrading to iOS 6?

Check out our detailed walkthrough of other features and improvements in iOS 6:

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