Apple finally announced bringing its virtual assistant Siri to third-party devices as part of its major improvements via iOS 15.
HomeKit accessory makers can now enable “Hey Siri” in their products, allowing customers to talk to and get responses from Siri on third-party devices.
Siri-enabled accessories will relay requests through HomePod or HomePod mini and will support features such as Personal Requests, Intercom, timers, and alarms.
“Starting today, smart home device manufacturers can begin working with Apple to integrate Siri into their accessories,” Apple said during its flagship WWDC21 developer conference late on Monday.
Apple is yet to release a comprehensive list of devices and brands that will support Siri. It demonstrated the Siri integration on an Ecobee thermostat during the keynote presentation.
Siri has also added Announce Notifications on AirPods, the ability for users to share what’s on their screen just by asking, and more.
The tech giant said that with on-device speech recognition, users’ requests’ audio is processed on their iPhone or iPad by default.
This addresses one of voice assistants’ biggest privacy concerns, unwanted audio recording.
“For many requests, Siri processing is also moving on device, enabling requests to be processed without an internet connection, such as launching apps, setting timers and alarms, changing settings, or controlling music,” the company announced.
The developer preview of iOS 15 is now available to Apple Developer Programme members, and a public beta will be available to iOS users next month.
New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 6s and later, the company said.