Siri goes to the next level with iOS 10, and yes it works in India

Apple's iOS 10 brings a Siri that is lot more useful, especially for users in India thanks to third-party app integration.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Published:September 15, 2016 10:03 am
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Hey, Siri. This phrase has started carrying a lot more weight since the iOS 10 upgrade was rolled out to users on September 4. But what exactly can Siri do now, that it couldn’t before? Well, I decided to take her for a spin after upgrading the Apple iPhone 6s Plus to iOS 10.

Siri now comes with app integration, so it can do stuff on third-party apps and not just on its own. So, I said: “Siri, order Biriyani,” and it opened up Zomato with the nearest option on the lockscreen itself. Neat. But there are not many other Indian apps offering this integration at the moment.

Siri’s real success now is in being able to offer a lot of hands-free options. Forgive the pun, but these are very handy when you are driving or have your hands tied with something else. I could create a message, and send it to a particular person without touching the phone once. The only issue I faced was in breaking sentences. I did the same with email and it worked fine. Again better for shorter mail, like when you are responding in a hurry.

What made me more happy was the integration with Twitter. Yes, you can actually tweet without opening the app. And since it’s a short burst of verbal anger, Siri does an excellent job of capturing and posting the same.

However, I hit a wall when I tried to send a test on Facebook Messenger, the messaging app I use the most. “Facebook has not set it up with me yet,” came the curt reply. The same worked on WhatsApp, but Siri gets confused when there are a lot of similar names in your contacts. So it will be tough to send a message to an Ajay on an Anil.

Siri, integrates well with Uber too and you can book a cab easily with just voice. However, you might need to add the destination on the app.

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I have not really used Siri before, though I have been on Apple devices for many years now. That was because, she couldn’t really stomach my government school accent. Things have changed though. Ask her for directions to Gurgaon and she gets it right away, though she still pronounces it as “Girgoouaan” or something like that. Also, there are no dead ends like before when Siri used to say it has no idea about a restaurant or location you are trying to find.

Unlike Google which has localised voice search in every possible way, Siri is still very much American, but she is no longer lost in India. So accuracy levels are generally much better than before.

Also, tie up the more intelligent, more responsive Siri on iOS 10 to what Apple has brought in the form of its AirPods. With those on, you can basically do a lot of computing, communication and search without even taking the phone out of your pocket. Hey, Siri… that’s gonna be cool.