Specifically, a number of Siri third-party app integrations are on the chopping block in areas that include ride-hailing, car control, and to-do lists. The same deprecated commands, first spotted by MacRumors, also apply to Apple's forthcoming iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8 software, all due in final form later this year.
Perhaps the most crucial removal is the ability to hail Uber rides using Siri. This was once touted by Apple as an impressive new Siri feature using a popular non-Apple app when third-party Siri integrations were first announced. Other changes cover several categories CarPlay, payments, lists and notes, and VoIP calling. However, Apple notes that Maps will continue to support third-party app integrations.
Key examples of features that will no longer work as of the IOS 15 update include controlling a car's radio, climate, and defroster settings. You'll no longer be able to pay bills and transfer money between accounts either. And while you'll still be able to create tasks in third-party to-do apps, you won't be able to append to existing notes, create task lists, or delete tasks.
Analysis: Siri's uphill battle
It's a perplexing change from the iPhone maker. If anything, Siri needs to learn to do more, not less in these specific use cases.
Apple unveiled third-party app integrations in its 2016 software updates. It promised at the time, “In iOS 10, Siri is going to be able to do so much more.” The tech giant even used the ability to hail a ride as a specific example of Siri's expanded capabilities in its WWDC 2016 keynote.
Siri has always been in an uphill battle, competing against Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. AI assistants are one area where Apple's privacy stance arguably makes its products inferior rather than superior. Harvesting data can have creepy implications, but it's also a crucial element in improving artificial intelligence.
If the iPhone maker has something up its sleeve to replace these removed Siri integrations, it hasn’t announced it yet.
Apple still offers Siri Shortcuts, a system for creating or installing custom extensions for its voice assistant. However, Shortcuts requires technical know-how, serving as a notable departure from Apple's penchant for simple and accessible features.
Here's the complete list of 22 third-party tasks Siri will no longer support when iOS 15 launches to the public:
- Set Audio Source in Car
- Set Climate Settings in Car
- Set Defroster Settings in Car
- Set Seat Settings in Car
- Save Profile in Car
- Set Profile in Car
- Set Radio Station
Lists and Notes
- Append to Note
- Create Task List
- Delete a Task
- Pay a Bill
- Search for Bills
- Transfer Money (between accounts)
- Search for Photos
- Start Photo Playback
- List Ride Options
- Request a Ride
- Get the Ride Status
- Cancel Ride
- Send Ride Feedback
- Get Visual Code
- Search Call History
When to expect iOS 15
Apple typically releases its annual software updates in September, at or around the time of its iPhone launch event. This year, we're expecting the iPhone 13 around the usual time frame – mid-September – and iOS 15 to take center stage.
In the meantime, you can finally test the iOS 15 public beta yourself if you don't mind missing out on the aforementioned features.
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Will Shanklin began writing for online-tech publications more than a decade ago. He has worked for media outlets including Digital Trends, AppleInsider, Android Central, Geek, and HuffPost. He also spent five years building and running a Mobile Tech section at New Atlas (formerly Gizmag). A recent Denver transplant, Will enjoys the area’s nature, live music, and other fun activities.