Apple to ease restrictions on Siri for third-party messaging apps

iOS 1 on iPhone
iOS 1 on iPhone

What you need to know

  • Apple has confirmed it will ease restrictions on Siri support for third-party messaging.
  • A software update later this year will improve functionality.
  • News comes in response to Bloomberg story charting the rise of in-house software.

In a statement issued to Bloomberg today, Apple has confirmed that a software update later this year will loosen the restrictions on Siri support for third-party messaging apps.

In its story Bloomberg states:

The Cupertino, California-based company plans to release a software update later this year that will help outside messaging applications work better with the Siri digital assistant... Right now, when iPhone users ask Siri to call or message a friend, the system defaults to Apple's Phone or iMessage apps. If you want to use WhatsApp or Skype, you have to specifically say that.When the software refresh kicks in, Siri will default to the apps that people use frequently to communicate with their contacts. For example, if an iPhone user always messages another person via WhatsApp, Siri will automatically launch WhatsApp, rather than iMessage. It will decide which service to use based on interactions with specific contacts. Developers will need to enable the new Siri functionality in their apps. This will be expanded later to phone apps for calls as well.

This will mean that in future, if you ask Siri to send a message, it will default to the messaging app that you use the most, rather than defaulting to iMessage as is currently the case. The report from Bloomberg follows another Bloomberg story published this morning titled Apple's Default iPhone Apps Give It Growing Edge Over App Store Rivals , in which it documented how Apple's default, in-house software means consumers are "subtly coaxed and prodded into using this more-established software rather than alternatives".

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9