Siri gets smarter, can launch apps

Apple announced several upgrades for Siri yesterday at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), including a jump to the latest iPad.

Siri will be able to talk to you through your car soon.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

The personal assistant will now include better responses and several integrations, including OpenTable, Rotten Tomatoes, Yelp and sports data. Siri can also now launch apps, update Facebook and Twitter and speak more languages.

According to Apple, Siri is optimised for use in 15 countries. In addition to English, French, German and Japanese, Siri can now converse in Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Apple is also working with automakers to integrate Siri into cars through an "eyes-free" feature, which will allow drivers to use a button in the steering wheel to activate Siri. The feature is coming in the next 12 months for several car companies, including BMW, General Motors, Toyota, Mercedes, Honda and Audi.

Siri debuted with the iPhone 4S as a beta product last October. The "S" in the iPhone 4S moniker stood for Siri. The feature uses the iPhone 4S' built-in microphone, taking user commands and turning them into actions on the phone. That includes searching the web, setting reminders and checking stock prices.

During an interview at the recent D10 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that the software had an upgrade in the works, noting that "a lot of people" have been working to improve the technology.


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