Thursday, March 23, 2017

Siri, Book My Vacation

            Recently, John Koetsier and Matthew Panzarino, wrote articles about Apple’s new acquisition, Workflow, and how it will compliment Siri as an every-day tool. is an app that glues together multiple functions from different apps into one. It allows users to take pictures, automate the editing of those pictures, enter data, and integrate that data in to multiple places, and even make PDFs out of web pages. There are endless functionalities that this interesting app can do. The app is sort of like a mobile version of Google’s IFTTT. Apple already has a software development kit for apps called SiriKit that developers use to enable voice controls in their apps through Siri. Although Apple already has this incredible technology, the functions of Siri are limited to actions in individual apps at a time.
            Soon, it is predicted that Siri will be able to performs tasks across several apps because of the technology acquired with the acquisition of Workflow. Users will be able to books flights, reserve dinners and hotels, and buy sports tickets just through Siri. The acquisition of Workflow is projected to have massive productivity gains because of this new and original multi-app function. The new function will be a clear combination of Siri and Workflow, which means that the amount of artificial intelligence embedded in Apple’s expected version of Siri will exceed any other smart phone manufacturers’.
            As expected, Google’s Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, Samsung's Bixby, Facebook's M, and possibly services built on top of IBM's Watson will be doing the exact same thing as Apple. By integrating this multi-app, voice controlled function, the need for certain aps will soon be unnecessary. Being the first ones, Apple’s developers will benefit before anyone else. The integration of Workflow with Siri will allow even more seamless activation and composition of actions now that the developers have access to Apple’s private application program interfaces (API), which are far more advanced than the minute portion of Siri that the public has seen so far.
            I believe that the user’s will benefit from this function, but as I said before, the developers are the ones whose work just got far more convenient. The smooth access of programs could mean that new Apple features will be produced and released far more efficiently, and that will keep users excited for new and innovation features. As someone who is on their phone more often than others, I think this function will allow people to spend less time on the phone will still being just as productive and connected to the internet. Apple has proved time and time again in the past decade that they have the ability to create the most compelling and innovative technology.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/22/apple-has-acquired-workflow-a-powerful-automation-tool-for-ipad-and-iphone/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2017/03/23/siri-book-my-vacation-apples-workflow-acquisition-hints-at-coming-ai-feats/2/?ss=tech#61543c87134a

3 comments:

Kelly McNamara said...

I am really intrigued by Workflow and the possibilities that come with it as far as what Siri is/will be able to do in the future. Already Siri seems to be very popular with its ability to use search engines and write out text messages. People love that it is easy to use and faster than the time it would take to open an app, select where you would start typing, and then finally write out the text. With Siri also being able to read either search results, text message replies, or the answer to questions, that has also made Siri even more of an intriguing feature for Apple users.
Although people are very happy with Siri’s capabilities, I do agree that in the grand scale of technology, Siri is not as advanced as other technologies of its kind. Also, users are always looking for more advancements in technologies, especially those that make their lives easier/more productive. I think it makes a lot of sense for Siri to partner with Workflow because of the additional abilities that Workflow will bring to the capabilities of Siri. Things like booking flights, hotels, restaurant reservations, and tickets for events like sporting games and concerts are tasks that people are always trying to do on the go but they can tend to be very tiresome because of the process that people have to go through with typing out all the information needed to book the reservation or to buy the ticket.
Apple does have a lot of completion with other companies creating voice controlled technologies. I think their success with this will rely on their ability to get this technology out before other competitors start putting out their version of this type of technology and it will also rely on Siri/Workflow’s ability to be easy to use and without error. If the commands that people are requesting of Siri are not successful, consumers will look to other companies for the better working technologies.
I agree with you that users will benefit greatly from this advancement in the feature of Siri. It will definitely cut down on the time that people will have to spend on their phones going through the motions of booking reservations, airfare, and hotels and buying any sort of ticket. I think that once Apple has mastered the technology behind completely tasks like these, they will be able to branch out into other sorts of productivity features. A lot of iPhone users have apps that are connected to other technologies in their house, such as security systems and heating/cooling systems. I could see Apple in the future developing relationships and technologies that would to integrate Siri into these types of applications as another way to make users more productive when using their iPhones.

Jason Baskind said...

This sounds awesome to me! I know that my parents are booking a trip, they get really frustrated having to make a bunch of calls to separate places and wait to talk to a representative. In fact, my mom refuses to do that. She always says she will go wherever as long as my dad makes the reservations and books the tickets. It seems like it can be a really annoying process. I think that workflow can be a really convenient and simple way of doing this same stressful process. From my experience, Siri works very well. I very rarely have any problem with it. It seems like Siri does a terrific job hearing exactly what I am saying and then connecting me with what I need. So I have no doubt that Siri could help make this process of booking flights and making reservations much easier. This adds customer convenience to a society that loves to travel and go on vacations, so I think that everyone will be quite thrilled by this. Overall, I am excited to tell my parents of Workflow and see how they like using it. I am sure if it works well, they will be very happy. I think this is an awesome idea and I hope it works well.

Michael Bacci said...

This app seems a lot like an existing software that Apple owns, Automator. It is an app that comes standard on every Apple computer. Automator has a great potential of uses but it is one that I have struggled to use effectively like many others. The main use for the software comes with automating tasks that are repetitive. Automating repetitive tasks is of course, one of the great uses that computers are used for, so it makes sense to try to do more with it. For me, it is one of those things that I use every now and then, but not enough so it often gets forgotten and never pushed into a regular use pattern. Hopefully, this software can be a way for Apple to expand on a similar type of functionality provided by Automator. The play for Apple here appears to be to employ a similar functionality on their iPad and iPods. The whole basis is, program a set of actions so that they can be carried out with a single click. I really hope that Apple can get this up and running so that users adopt it with enthusiasm, but I will have to be skeptical and wait and see. If they haven’t been able to make Automator work for consumers, how are they going to do it with Workflow.