A team at the PennApps Spring 2014 hackathon demonstrates how they can make Siri work with third-party apps it doesn’t officially support.
Siri has been incredibly constricted when it comes to playing nice with third-party apps, the only ones it works with are a result of direct deals between Apple and the developers. The first and only Siri hack for iOS 7 enables it to work with apps likes Instagram, Spotify and more.
Just yesterday a report claimed that Apple is working hard to open up Siri to third-party apps. It is believed that the company is finally going down this road because such integration would be vital if Siri is to function as the primary input method of the much rumored iWatch. The possibilities will be limitless once developers are allowed to tap into Siri without needing any direct deal with Apple, and we can see a glimpse of that in the hack developed by four freshmen in the M&T program of the University of Pennsylvania.
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The four of them developed this hack, GoogolPlex, after being frustrated by the lack of features in Apple’s virtual assistant. It takes a minute to set everything up and the amazing thing is that no jailbreak is required. Users can leverage the hack to play songs in Spotify, take pictures using Instagram, send payments through Venmo and even control Philips Hue lights with voice commands. The team also says that in the future, other third-party apps will be able to leverage GoogolPlex in order to provide functionality through Siri.
Its unclear when Apple will make Siri play nice with other applications, but one doesn’t need to look further than GoogolPlex to be certain that additional functionality is only going to make users’ lives easier. Even if the iWatch never materializes, millions of iOS users who depend on Siri would greatly appreciate it being to do a lot more than it can do right now.