Extending Siri

With iOS 7, my relationship with Siri has finally settled into a more stable- she lets me stay out late with my friends/I do the dishes and not throw my clothes everywhere type of arrangement. It seems many of the under-the-hood updates in iOS 7 has made Siri much more useful and more accurate. But as with all relationships, it’s not just the software… it takes work. You have to learn how to use Siri and train her a bit and she’ll reward you. I have found using Siri to be much faster for many things. Including things that I used to say, “Siri sucks, it’s faster to just do it myself.” I get it now. And so does she apparently.

So I’ve changed my tune. Siri is pretty great. And now I want more. There’s so much possibility, and I want it all now now now!

Lets list of all the ways Siri can be extended or improved by adding new services.

No brainer. Before you ever whip out Shazam, you’re usually turning to a friend to say, “What song is this?” Why not just to turn to Siri?
You: “Shazam this song?”
Her: “Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.”
You: “Love it, let’s buy it from iTunes.”

Getting a car or taxi from Uber is already so easy, this one is ripe for the Siri treatment. Afterall, personal assistants book cars all the time anyway.
You: “Siri, have a car pick me up from here as soon as it can.”
Her: “Got it. The car is booked and will be here in 10 minutes.”

We can already book a table with Siri via OpenTable, but we’re being lazy tonight. We’d rather order in. She could already have a list of your favorite places to order from and could ensure she’s getting the complete order before placing it.
You: “Siri, let’s order in the red curry from my wife’s favorite Thai place.”
Her: “Sure, do you want a large or small?”
You: “A large please.”
Her: “Anything else with that?”
You: “I’ll get a side of brown rice and lets add pork to that red curry.”
Her: “Order updated, ready to place the order?”

Apple TV
I like my Apple TV for the most part. Gives me access to loads of content and connects my plasma to my iOS ecosystem. But navigating it is such a chore. Anything to ease this pain and speed things up would be welcome. That’s why I need my girl…
You: “I want to watch a movie, what are some new releases on my TV?”
You: “Start iTunes Radio on the TV”
You: “Start the screensaver on the TV”

In the future, if Apple were to go this route, integrating your cable system into Apple TV would make this even better…
You: Switch the channel to AMC.
You: “DVR the next episode of Girls.”

I watch Netflix almost exclusively on my Apple TV as well, but Siri could make discovery on Netflix much easier (and fun). Netflix has been testing out “Max” on PS3, which helps you decide what to watch in an irreverant, gamified way. Siri could function in a similar fashion.
You: “I’m in the mood for something light. Something with Hugh Grant.”
Her: “How about one of these movies from Netflix?”
You: “Lets do Love Actually.”

or simply
You: “Go to my Netflix instant queue”
You: “Search Dark Comedies on Netflix”

Home Automation
We’re getting into Minority Report/Iron Man territory here. With iOS 7, changing settings on the phone was opened up to Siri. Let’s go a step further and change the settings on our house! (And while we’re at it, why not make an updated Apple TV the main brain of your smart home?) Ask Siri to turn on lights. Turn on the TV. Start brewing coffee. Preheat the oven to 350 and let you know when it’s ready.
You: “Siri, it’s cold in here, can you raise the temperature a few degrees?”
Her: “Glad you asked, I was cold too, I’ve raised the temperature to 71 degrees.”

Here’s a little taste of what this could look like.

or this

Now it’s your turn. How else do you see Siri improving your life or making things easier? How else can we extend Siri with services that already exist?


  1. Greg January 25, 2014

    What about adding Amazon to the mix?
    You: Add the newest Malcolm Gladwell book to my Amazon Wish List.
    Siri: Is that “Underdogs, Misfits, and the art of Battling Giants”?
    You: That’s the one.
    Siri: I’ve added it.

    You: I really want a new filter for my Germ Guardian air purifier.
    Siri: I’ve found these on Amazon.

    You: When is my latest Amazon order supposed to arrive?
    Siri: Tracking says it’ll be here tomorrow.

    You: Buy the Nest Thermostat from my Amazon Wish List.
    Siri: Ok. Shall I place the order?
    You: No, also add the Malcolm Gladwell book from my wish list.
    Siri: Ok, updated. Shall I place the order?
    You: Yes.

  2. […] It could create its own smart home ecosystem and finally make your home the Einstein of the block. Throw in Siri and you have a house that is voice activated, proximity aware (with iBeacons), and almost turnkey […]

Leave a Reply