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iOS 6 preview: Siri shares to Facebook and Twitter, launches apps for everyone

Siri was a bit of a tease on iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S -- while it could send Messages and Mails, it couldn't send status updates to Twitter or Facebook, and it couldn't even open an app. With iOS 6, however, Siri is not only launching on the iPad, but it's launching you into any app on your device, and posting tweets and updates like a social champ.

Here's how Apple share's Siri's new status:

Siri makes social networking that much more fun — and easy. Update your Facebook status, post a comment on your Wall, or send a tweet using just the sound of your voice. You can get the word out faster — all without having to type a single word.With iOS 6, you can ask Siri to open apps for you. If you arrive early at the cafe Siri helped you find, just ask to play Where's My Water so you can kill time while you wait. Or ask Siri to launch Facebook and see what your friends are up to, or take a look at the latest posts on your Wall.

Siri's newfound social acumen and app access are only available to beta testers right now, but Apple did show it off during WWDC 2012, so we have some idea of how it works.

  • Create, take dictation for, and post tweet to Twitter
  • Create, take dictation for, and post status to Facebook
  • Launch an app or game

Here are some examples of how it works:

  • Say "play Temple Run" and Siri will launch the Temple Run game, just as if you'd tapped the app icon on the Home screen.
  • Say "Post to Twitter: Shopping on Robertson... just saw whatshisname from the doctor show."

  • Say "Post to Facebook: I like pina coladas. But I really hate getting caught in the rain."

Siri's an assistant who already took your Messages and Mail, so updating your Facebook and Twitter is both familiar and a great extension to functionality. Being able to launch apps is okay too, though in situations where your hands are too busy to tap an icon, they're probably too busy to tap through an app once Siri's done launching it.

iOS 6 is scheduled for release this fall, perhaps as soon as September 19.

For more on iOS 6 and Siri, check out:

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Great article Rene! How are the latest beta's in terms of performance and stability?
  • thats what i've been wondering. i read one article where they said SIRI was much improved. here's keeping my fingers crossed. SIRI actually works really well for me. basically the only time i have trouble is when i have a bad internet connection - which on ATT is almost all the time.
  • This just lets you start the apps by voice, rather than using them through Siri though. You can already use some apps to extend Siri, for example our MailShot Pro app creates special contracts you can group email to, and you can then send email to a whole group at once from Siri. Anyone know any others?
  • While I love the idea that Siri is getting some more functions, I'm not sure having to hold down the home button....wait for Siri to signal with the double beep....say "Open Temple Run"....then wait for the app to open is really of any benefit above just tapping the Temple Run icon...
  • I am inclined to agree - unless you have 10 pages of apps (I only have 5). What would be more useful is if Siri could toggle functions, as in: "Siri, turn on my Wi-Fi
    ." Better yet: "Siri, turn on bluetooth every morning at 7:00, and off every afternoon at 6:00."
  • I suspect at some point Siri will be "always on". But that will be a battery hit and another step up in tech. Siri would need to use a noise gate, which is simple enough, but also a form of personal voice recognition. Just analyzing voice patterns to see if you are talking vs ambient noise will eat some serious processor/battery. Thought I read where Google already has some algorithm for voice the basic tech is there. They just need to get all the stars aligned to make it seamless. Perhaps iPhone 7....the one you implant in your chest Tony Stark style.
  • I've been using Siri to send updates to Facebook and Twitter since launch.
    I just created facebook and twitter contacts, saved the SMS short codes and voila. I can say "send message to facebook" and it will send it as a SMS to Facebook
    (SMS short code saved as "facebook" doesnt work with twitter though, keeps saying I can't help you with twitter.
    But you can make a new name in your contacts using the twitter shortcode and that'll work. Example, call it "Thomas T" then it'll send a SMS to the twitter shortcode granted, Siri is a much more elegant idea but mine works as well.
  • i would like to see apple add the following capabilities to siri / apple tv . while watching a stream from your ipad or ipod touch or iphone to tv and the without having to manipulate your device to be able to speak commands and have siri do things. while streaming is a bad example, but how about just talk into the air when device is connected through air play and apple tv sends direction back to your iphone or ipad and has siri do things that pop up on your tv or just make calls or texts through mic tv combo... push the envelope so to speak air devices that control all of your homes things like hey siri turn down the temperature 3 degrees please or turn on the light in the living room... get on it apple xD
  • also i didnt comment the other day when rene was being attacked, my main phone is a droid bionic , i have a " the new ipad " ( which i love ) an ipod touch a pre plus a dell streak 7 and an hp touch pad running webos 3 and cyano 7 and finally a samsung 5 wifi ... if you are strictly a droid fan boy why are you posting or attacking here? rene gave his opinion that samsung copies everything ( which they do ) why try and bash on him for being an apple fan boy on an apple site? is this supposed to be an objective forum directed to all devices or more prominently apple? why would you as a person take some one critiquing samsung as an attack on you personally? why the need to defend something you personally aren't a part of? the same would go for anyone , no offense, apple exclusive person that would do the same in a droid forum, or not thinking apple gets enough press when someone does a droid article... are you losing money or life force from this? those of you that attacked rene or the other writers of this forum need to issue an apology as they did nothing that would prompt anyone to take the liberty of flinging any venom at them.