iOS 12 Wishlist: Siri Feature Parity and Extensions Overhaul

Siri HUD

Every year we hope and wish that Siri gets better. And we’re not giving up on that hope. Now that HomePod is out in the wild and there’s increasing competition from Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, we hope Apple finally takes steps to fix Siri.

You Just Don’t Get Me, Siri

Even before Apple gets to better third party support, what Apple needs to fix is the fundamental stuff. Siri supports a plethora of languages and has official support for many English accents. Still, Siri is really bad at transcribing what you say. And if Siri keeps failing at this level, it’s just not going be widely used. In a recent iPhone X survey, users ranked Siri as the feature they were least satisfied with and it’s not difficult to see why.

Siri Features Vary Between Apple Devices

Google Assistant offers a consistent experience no matter if you’re using it on your Android phone or on Google Home. That’s a far cry from Siri. Siri on iPhone, Mac, and HomePod feels like a totally different service.

If you’re using Siri a lot, this ends up being a huge frustration. For example, you can’t use Siri on the Mac to control HomeKit devices. Siri on Apple Watch sometimes just refuses to work for 5-10 seconds.

More Extensions

Siri is way behind when it comes to third-party app support. Both Amazon and Google have 1000s of apps and services with can connect to the respective voice recognition platform. While SiriKit has existed for 2 years now, it supports a very limited selection of app types. It works with messaging apps, travel apps and with some task management apps. But there’s no way to control media using Siri. There’s no way to interact with another Apple devices using Siri on one device. Every device is in its own Siri silo and it’s getting old.

You can use Google Home to control Google Chromecast but you can’t use Siri on HomePod to control Apple TV. Apple’s devices need to talk to each other more and Siri could be the common factor between all the devices.

Siri, Meet the Internet

Right now, too many aspects of Siri are dependent on iOS and on Apple hardware. If Apple wants Siri to succeed, it needs to break away from the shackles of Apple devices and needs to live on the internet. Siri should be a singular brain that’s living in the cloud. But what about privacy? I hear you cry. Apple can still keep everything end to end encrypted. Apple can still keep all data anonymous and use Differential Privacy for data analysis.

It’s possible for Apple to do this. It’s a huge change yes, but it will fix some of Siri’s biggest problems: speed and consistency.

Time To Drop the Sass

Siri’s sassy personality was a gimmick that worked for the first couple of years. Now, Siri’s sassy replies do nothing but get on your nerves. If Siri worked well and threw in some sass, that would be fine.

The problem is that Siri often doesn’t even do what you ask and tries to be funny. This leads users with a sore taste and they’re much less likely to use Siri again. And no matter how many ads Apple runs with The Rock, it’s not going to bring people back.

Type to Siri For Everyone

iOS 11 How to Type to Siri iPhone 1

Right now, the only way to type to Siri is to use the accessibility feature. The problem is that once you turn it on, you lose the voice capabilities altogether. It would be nice to see Apple incorporate this accessibility feature into Siri itself. Give us a little keyboard icon in the bottom-left corner and let us type to Siri when we can’t speak to it. Google Assistant does this really well!

Siri Goes HUD

Siri HUD

Right now, Siri takes up the entire screen when you use it. But there’s no need for that. Siri could work just as well as a little notification banner which drops from the top. And Apple could use this banner for intelligent suggestions as well.

Siri Face on Apple Watch Integrations

watchOS 4 Siri Watch Face 1

Right now Siri watch face on Apple Watch only works with a limited set of apps – Apple’s own. There’s a lot of potential here to integrate data and widgets from third-party apps. Things like reminders from Todoist, calendar appointments from Microsoft Outlook and more.

How Should Siri Get Better?

Like life itself, every Apple user’s struggle with Siri is unique. How do you think Siri should get better with iOS 12? Should Apple update Siri capabilities more often? Share with us in the comments below.

Check out the other features in our iOS 12 wishlist