How Siri can open up to 3rd party developers
I found this post on Hacker News… Rob Cortez says Siri will never open up the 3rd party developers. I think he’s grossly underestimating Apple and the power of Siri. Siri is the coming of the 3rd generation of human-computer interaction interface. First was keyboard. Second was touch (iPhone, iPad). And now third is Siri (and other competitors). - sure there was touch and voice before but the iPhone mainstreamed touch, and Siri will mainstream voice.
Anyway, how can Siri open up to 3rd party developers? I posted my thoughts on this HN thread:
Siri will be open to 3rd party devs IMHO. User will say to Siri, “[App Name], [command].”
“New York Times app, read me the 10 top stories.”
“Pandora app, play Sugarland station.”
Each developer can list a series of actions = verb + object. When the user installs the app, Siri will pick up all the actions and they will be available to the user. Again, it must be initiated by the user saying the app name first. I can see two main usage cases:
1. Launch app into particular action - for example, “Pandora app, play Sugarland station.” This opens Pandora and plays Sugarland station. Pretty straightforward. Devs just determine the verb + object and what Siri does with the action. In this case, Siri launches Pandora and sends over the verb “play” and the station “Sugarland,” and Pandora knows what to do with it.
2. Read/show data within Siri. So, in this usage case the app doesn’t launch but rather gives Siri data. For example, “New York Times app, read me the last 10 stories.” Siri sends “read” (verb) and “last 10 stories” (object) to New York Times app. New York Times app gets that action and does an API call to the server to return the 10 top stories and gives it to Siri to read. Siri reads them to the user.
#2 usage case is pretty mind-blowing if Apple can pull it off. Because it’s taking apps and pulling off its cover and stripping them to it’s core services. Users don’t have to launch the app to get certain data. App become more services that Siri can access. Of course, the user can still launch the app and do other things in the app via touch. But the app has a voice interaction interface and Siri is the master of that.