iOS 6 preview: Siri knows sports

Siri, as introduced in iOS 5 on the iPhone 4S, is an able if not particularly well-rounded personal assistant. With iOS 6, however, Siri is expanding to the iPad, and adding sports to its repertoire. Now, in addition to keeping you in contact, on time, on course, and on schedule, Siri will also serve you up the latest scores.

Here's how Apple describes it:

Sports fan? Siri knows baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and hockey. Ask Siri for game schedules, scores from the current season’s games, or up-to-the minute scores from live games. Tell Siri to show you player stats and compare them against other players’ stats. Siri tracks team records, too, so you’ll always know how well your team is doing (or not doing).

Siri sports scores are only available to beta testers right now, but Apple did show them off during WWDC 2012, so we have some idea how they'll work. According to their presentation, Siri sports will support looking up information on:

  • Soccer: Italian Seria A, English Premier League, Dutch Eredivisie, Major League Soccer, French Ligue 1, Spanish La Liga, and German Bundesliga
  • Baseball: Major League Baseball
  • Football: NCAA Football, NFL
  • Basketball: NCAA Basketball, NBA, WNBA
  • Hockey: NHL

For each of those sports, Siri can provide:

  • Scores
  • Standings
  • Schedules
  • Team rosters
  • Player stats

Taken together, here's what you'll be able to do with Siri and sports:

  • Ask "what was the core of the last Giants game?" and get a new scoreboard widget showing the results.

  • Ask "what is Buster Posey's batting average?" and get a new player card widget showing you the stats.

  • Ask "what are the national league standings?" and get a scrollable widget with up-to-date team standings.

  • Ask "who is taller, Lebron or Kobe?" and not only get both player cards, but a comparative assessment.

  • Ask "when is the San Francisco 49ers first game of the season?" and get a new schedule widgets giving you the data and time for the appropriate game.

And that's just what's been shown off so far.

Those sports sources, combined with Siri's almost Pixar-like persona and natural language, context aware search capabilities, should make it a surefire hit for everything from keeping up with games on the road to finding out who wins a bar bet.

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.