Siri Steals the Show at WWDC

From Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana to Google's voice assistant, Siri has been under attack from all sides, and today Apple answered back by making Siri more open and bringing it to the Mac. Siri will also be playing an even bigger role in tvOS for Apple TV.

Siri on iOS 10: The Dev Floodgates Open

In iOS 10, Apple is opening Siri up to developers to let you do more with just your voice via third-party apps. For instance, you can send order a car from Lyft, send a message in WeChat, search for photos in Shutterfly and more. 

The new Siri will also let you start and pause your workouts with third-party apps like Runkeeper, as well as send money to friends and make VoIP calls.

iOS 10 - 9 Biggest Changes Coming to Your iPhone

Apple is rolling out SiriKit to help developers to work with Siri for all of the above capabilities, and the company is opening the door for automakers that are supporting CarPlay to let Siri control apps, access climate controls or adjust radio settings.

Siri's intelligence now also extends to the keyboard with QuickType. It offers contextual predictions, such as suggesting to share your location if someone asks where you are. That's pretty smart, so long as you remember to look in the suggestion box area.

Siri on macOS: The Assistant Comes to the Desktop

Siri is also making its way to macOS, the new name for OS X. You can do a lot of the same things with Siri on Macs as you can on your iPhone, but Apple took things a step further by letting you search for files using natural language searches.

Even better, you can drag and drop things you search for right into the document you're working on, as well as pin items to macOS' Notification Center. This goes beyond the capabilities of Cortana and Windows 10.

MORE: 8 Best Features of macOS

Siri on macOS will also let you send messages with your voice, as well as fire up your favorite playlists while you're working on something else.
During a demo, Apple showed how you could search for a movie with Siri, watch the preview and then book tickets via Apple Pay.

Siri will be accessible on macOS via the Dock, menu bar or keyboard. Other capabilities include starting a FaceTime call with your voice, adding a calendar meeting, set reminders and adjust system preferences.

Siri on tvOS: Smarter Search, Tune in Live

Last but not least, Siri is also getting upgraded on tvOS on Apple TV. You'll be able to search for shows based on very specific criteria, such as "teen comedies," as well as search for YouTube videos. And you'll be able to tune in live to various apps, such as ESPN, just by saying "Watch ESPN."

Plus, you'll be able to control HomeKit accessories via Siri and Apple TV. Picture setting the temperature with your voice or turning on the lights.

MORE: Biggest Changes Coming to Apple TV

Since the launch of Apple TV, Siri has gotten more powerful, now searching over 650,000 TV episodes and movies. Siri is available in even more countries with expanded capabilities--even when you're away from home.


Because iOS 10 and macOS won't be available to consumers until July and tvOS won't hit until Fall, it's hard to say how much stronger a competitor Siri will be to Alexa, Google and Cortana until we can kick the tires. But we're glad to see that Apple is bringing its voice assistant to more platforms while beefing up its capabilities. I just hope that Siri's recognition and accuracy continues to improve as well.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.