Mobility

How to use third-party apps with Siri

Siri is even more useful and powerful in iOS 10. Learn how to enable Siri apps, and find out about five of the best Siri apps available.

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Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

Siri was revamped in iOS 10 to include third-party developer support for certain app types: VoIP, messaging, payments, photos, workouts, ride booking, and restaurant reservations. I assume more types of apps will be supported in the future.

To use Siri apps, you must first download an app with Siri support included from the App Store, and then enable the app in the iOS Settings to work with Siri.

Once enabled, you can use your third-party app right from the Siri voice prompt without having to launch the app first. This is especially great for when you're driving and need to do something more involved via voice prompts.

Follow the steps in this tutorial to activate a third-party Siri app. I'll also tell you about five Siri apps available on the store and what they can do for you.

SEE: iOS 10 and the enterprise (Tech Pro Research)

Enabling Siri apps

By default, whenever you install an app that has Siri support, the Siri functionality is not automatically enabled. To enable the functionality in a Siri-compatible app, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Siri | App Support.
  3. Enable the switches next to the apps that you'd like to use with Siri. This section will list all of the Siri-compatible apps installed on your device (Figure A).

Figure A

siriappsfigurea.jpg

The Siri settings let you enable or disable apps. By default, newly installed apps are disabled for security purposes.

Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

Now you can use the enabled apps inside of the Siri interface. Each app offers different options through the Siri interface, so you may need to refer to an app's instructions to find out what commands are available when using it with Siri.

Five great Siri apps to try

Uber / Lyft

If you're already a fan of Uber and Lyft, then you'll probably like their Siri features. With both apps, you can easily catch a ride by saying, "Hey Siri, book a ride to SFO with Uber or Lyft." This makes digital ride hailing even more futuristic.

Download Uber and Lyft from the iTunes App Store.

Skype

With the latest update, you can initiate a Skype call directly from Siri. Simply say, "Hey Siri, call [name here] using Skype."

Download Skype for iOS today, and give it a shot.

WhatsApp Messenger

What's that? It's WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform communication tool that provides features similar to iMessage, but with the addition of audio calling. Use this to send your Android friend a message using Siri. Just say, "Send [name here] a message using WhatsApp," or to initiate a call say, "Call [name here] using WhatsApp."

Download WhatsApp Messenger on the App Store to give it a spin.

Square Cash

Paying people back for things can be a pain, especially when you need to fetch cash to do it. Square Cash is a money transfer app that aims to alleviate this pain point, and it also adds Siri support for making payments even more simple. Initiate a payment to someone by telling Siri, "Send [name here] one million dollars using Square Cash."

Square Cash is a free download on the App Store and is backed by the popular Square payments platform.

Also see

About Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

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