Learn How to integrate Siri into Third-Party iOS Apps
We don’t think Siri really needs an introduction. Everyone at some point in time has heard an iPhone user giving commands to Siri. Siri is the brainchild of Mr. Steve Jobs.
Until now, the voice recognition assistant was available for use with a limited number of applications. However, Apple paid attention to the demands of developers for integrating Siri voice application in third party apps.
In the WWDC 2018 event, Apple announced Siri app integration. The introduction of SiriKit has changed the game and made it easy for the developers to add customized features to Siri and integrate it with third-party applications.
To know the benefits of this move for specifically your project, consult your iPhone app development company.
We all know what Siri is but to better understand the importance of SiriKit, it is necessary to understand how Siri works.
How Siri Works?
Users don’t always bother themselves with the technology used behind their voice assistants. But for developers, the tech behind Siri is important to implement SiriKit.
Siri makes use of two technologies – Voice recognition and natural language processing. Voice recognition will convert the voice command to text. This is how whatever the user says appears on their screen.
But again this is not as easy as it sounds. The language of the majority of the population may be the same but their accents definitely differ. This is where the difficulty arises in analyzing the command received.
To solve this problem, the Apple team uses machine learning for training Siri to effectively recognize multiple speech types. Implementation of machine learning has reduced the chances of misinterpretation to 10%.
Now, with the launch of SiriKit, you can use this technology in Siri’s third-party app integration as well as other applications.
What is SiriKit?
It is a framework recently launched by Apple. SiriKit will allow the iOS developers to add customized features to Siri which can also be integrated with third-party applications.
All these efforts are to ultimately increase the user experience. Before this framework, Siri integration was limited to specific application types like messaging, VoIP calling, ride booking, payments, and health, etc. but the list is constantly growing.
Although for the users Siri seems to be user-friendly, the real challenge lies for the developers.
At the backend, Siri is quite complex. But all thanks to SiriKit, all the developers have to do is put the functionality and Apple will take care of the rest. But there are some exceptions to SiriKit. Firstly, it’s benefits are available only to the people using iOS 10 or later versions.
Secondly, SiriKit will not support all app domains. A domain is defined as a group of things known to Siri the app. In these domains are intents. Intents are the activities that Siri can carry out.
Domains that SiriKit supports are as follows:
- Visual Codes
- Photo search
- Ride booking
- Climate & Radio
- VoIP calling
- Car commands
- Car Play
- Restaurant Reservations
Pros & Cons of SiriKit:
Apple is finally leveling up to Alexa and Cortana by opening its framework to enable Siri third-party app integration. But just like their every other framework, SiriKit has its own set of pros and cons.
We have listed them for you here!
- The voice recognition market is expected to reach $18.3 billion by 2023 and this framework will enable the developers to enter the market.
- Helps to improve app performance
- SiriKit works in 4 steps: Speech, Intent, Action, and Response.
- Whenever you command the Siri app, it will confirm before executing the task. This reduces the chances of errors.
- The SiriKit will allow developers to customize the UI during Siri app integration so that users get the confirmation box for every task.
- Even though it’s just the beginning, the future seems bright for Siri and the compatible applications.
- Initially, the market for iOS developers is restricted as SiriKit is available only for iOS 10 and later versions.
- Developers are allowed to specify a word of their choice in Siri third-party apps integration but SiriKit has word limitations.
- Siri voice app integration is allowed by Apple but SiriKit is not yet available for macOS Sierra with Siri.
- There are chances of Siri app integration committing mistakes due to different accents of the users.
Popular Applications That Integrated SiriKit
- Car Commands
- Shy Guide
- Square Cash
- Google News
Now, we finally come to the discussion of Siri app integration!
How To Integrate Siri With Third-party Applications?
Add Intent Extensions
Two apps that run independently on iOS can’t interact with each other. This is where SiriKit will come into the scene. The framework will allow apps to interact as well as share data with each other.
This arrangement is known as extensions. Apple Siri app uses two extensions for the same:
- Intent Extension – This defines how Siri and the app interact with each other. The intent extension is necessary for the interaction as, without it, you cannot use Siri.
- Intent UI Extension – This extension is used by the developers to show a custom view to the app users. iPhone Siri apps do have a default view but if the developers want to go for a custom view then that is possible too.
After the extensions are added, the info.plist of intent extensions will be edited to tell the app about requests which need to be processed.
Developers have the option to enter additional information like category, title, description, various parameter types, etc. It will help understand which intents will the app accept.
iOS developers also need to mention the words that will enable the process of requests. All of this information will make the job easier for the application.
Another benefit is that with the help of specified words, an app will be able to understand the needs of a user better.
This is all you have to do to make the Siri app integration work. Not to forget that Siri should be enabled in the Apple ID for this to work. Here are the steps to implement intents:
- The intents extension target should be selected
- Run it
- When Xcode will prompt the app to run, choose Siri
Once all these things are done, begin the interaction with Siri and check how the intent extensions work.
What The Future Holds in Store For SiriKit?
SiriKit will soon be available for Apple’s HomePod. Here the users will have access to the same set of services using Siri.
You can now become a lot more productive with the help of Siri shortcuts and suggestions.
When you will pair your Siri applications with the Siri shortcuts app, you will be able to set up custom workflows with Siri and also trigger the same using key phrases.
That’s All on Siri App Integration!
Since it’s inception Apple has always tried to give priority to its user’s convenience at the same time maintaining it’s unparalleled quality of software.
Once, again giving importance to its users’ needs, Apple launched iOS 12.1 with a whole lot of features. Siri has increased the level of convenience for its users to a great extent and acts as a lifesaver for them.
There are high chances that Apple will add more applications to the existing list.
As SiriKit is a comparatively new feature, developers may take some time to get the hang of it. One aspect that may create a problem in the case of SiriKit is the limitation of words.
However, Apple is working on that too and trying to improve the framework. Even though Apple has stated the complete details of Siri app integration, many people are not yet aware of its benefits.
Are you one of those? Then this is the perfect time to hire an iPhone app developer who understands your project requirements and can use SiriKit to the optimum level for making your project successful.
Do you still need an explanation in simpler terms about the benefits of SiriKit for your project? Do you prefer to consult an expert to use SiriKit for your iOS app? Then reach us on [email protected]!
How to integrate SiriKit in the iOS App?
The steps to integrate SiriKit in an iOS app are - 1) Add Intent Extensions, 2) Editing of the Intents, 3) Implementation of Intents.
How to debug Siri Intent?
Following are the steps to debug Siri intent: 1) Choose the build scheme for your Intent extension, 2) Can Choose the target device on which you want to run your code, 3) Choose Product> Run to start the debugging session and 4) When asked by Xcode, select Maps or Siri as the main application to run.
Can Siri control third-party iOS Apps?
After the release of iOS 10, a range of third-party apps can be controlled from Siri. However, Siri should be ‘on’ and enabled for interactions before you start using it for compatible applications.
Does Siri have the control to open Apps?
Yes, you can use Siri to open applications irrespective of whether they are integrated with Siri or not.