How Siri could actually win the AI assistant wars

Jared Newman writing for Fast Company

The key to Siri’s upcoming overhaul is a developer feature called “App Intents,” which lets app makers define what actions their users can take and exposes them to other parts of iOS. If a to-do list app supports App Intents, for instance, you may be able to search for agenda items in the Spotlight search menu, or add tasks as part of a routine in the Shortcuts app.

App Intents really have been a versatile technology for Apple.


Google, for instance, has an extension system for its Gemini assistant, but it only works with six Google services such as YouTube and Gmail. The company did not announce third-party extension support at its I/O conference this month, and it has deprecated third-party “Conversational Actions” for Google Assistant devices. The company has a separate “App Actions” feature for Android apps, but it never got much developer traction, and it’s tied to Google Assistant, which itself seems to be on the way out. The whole situation’s a mess.

Amazon, meanwhile, is backing away from its third-party Alexa Skills ecosystem, killing off free Amazon Web Services credits for developers and rewards for top-performing skills. The company is in the midst of overhauling Alexa around generative AI, and is rebooting its developer tools accordingly.

Too bad Apple is behind in AI.