Siri Rising: More Apps, More Cars, More Personality

Apple revolutionized human-computer interaction with the Macintosh interface back in 1984 and again in 2007 with the iPhone. And now we're seeing it again with Siri. Apple's job postings clearly show that Apple is focused on increasing Siri's role in the interface.

There's been speculation regarding how the new iOS interface designer Jony Ive will change the design of the iOS interface. But frankly, the visual interface is becoming somewhat passé. The future appears to be aural.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Apple's most recent job posting gives a clue about where things are headed. In its effort to recruit user-interface engineers, Apple's posting said that to get an idea of the scope of the position, the applicants should consider Siri "an entire miniature OS within the OS...."

This suggests that Apple's vision is to keep elevating the role of Siri so that it's essentially an operating system — that is, the primary environment you use to interact with the device.

The posting said the engineers would help make "the next big thing even bigger." Those hired would focus on bringing Siri to additional apps. Apple seems to be heading in the direction of creating an environment in which much of what you do on your device is accomplished simply by talking. 

Not only is Apple expanding the role of Siri on iOS devices, but it's also expanding it to other technology. Honda just announced that Siri Eyes Free will be coming to select 2013 Honda and Acura models. Other manufacturers have committed to incorporating Siri Eyes Free too, including General Motors, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, and Chrysler. 

Apple posted another job mid-January, which indicated Apple is intent on further enhancing Siri's personality in addition to expanding Siri's role. This is pure genius. One of the reasons Siri has been so well received is that it (she?) has personality. What better way to make the user feel more comfortable interacting with a machine than making it friendly? Apple's technology just always feels friendly. The posting expresses Apple’s intention to make creative improvements to Siri. Here's how it read:

We’re looking for a uniquely creative individual to help us evolve and enrich Siri, our virtual personal assistant. Siri’s known for ‘her’ wit, cultural knowledge, and zeal to explain things in engaging, funny, and practical ways. The ideal candidate is someone who combines a love for language, wordplay, and conversation with demonstrated experience in bringing creative content to life within an intense technical environment.

Apple's top focus has always been the experience of the user, and this direction for Siri is yet another example.

To get the most out of Siri, be sure to check out iMore’s Ultimate Guide to Using Siri. The guide begins with several sections on setting up and configuring Siri. It then has sections on how to make calls and send email and text messages to your contacts using Siri. Other sections cover setting alarms, timers, reminders, updating tasks and to-do lists, creating and updating calendar appointments, checking stocks, and creating and updating notes. It also teaches you how to use Siri to check the weather, play and control music, search using a variety of search engines, and find movie information. You can even look up sports scores and information, find restaurants, make dinner reservations, launch apps, and shop for Apple products, all using Siri.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.