The incredible importance of Siri Suggestions

Encountered this terrific article by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch, titled Apple introduces the AI phone.

Very interesting, but I especially love the part where Sarah talks about Siri Shortcuts. A few snippets:

The company also showed off a new app called Siri Shortcuts.

The app is based on technology Apple acquired from Workflow, a clever — if somewhat advanced — task automation app that allows iOS users to combine actions into routines that can be launched with just a tap. Now, thanks to the Siri Shortcuts app, those routines can be launched by voice.

By now, you’ve no doubt read about Siri Shortcuts, have a basic sense of the goal, to build a sequence and wrap it up under a spoken phrase that can trigger Siri to execute the sequence.

In response to the demo, Sarah continues:

That’s arguably very cool — and it got a big cheer from the technically minded developer crowd — but it’s most certainly a power user feature. Launching an app to build custom workflows is not something everyday iPhone users will do right off the bat — or in some cases, ever.

Now here’s where things get really interesting to me:

Developers will update their apps’ code so that every time a user takes a particular action — for example, placing their coffee order, streaming a favorite podcast, starting their evening jog with a running app or anything else — the app will let Siri know. Over time, Siri will learn users’ routines — like, on many weekday mornings, around 8 to 8:30 AM, the user places a particular coffee order through a coffee shop app’s order ahead system.

As developers add this “user action” code to their apps, they are helping make Siri smarter, more capable of helping users, doing more useful actions customized to a user’s day-to-day habits/activities. And this happens, even if the user dumps the Shortcuts app in a junk folder.

In your favorite apps, you’ll start seeing an “Add to Siri” link or button in various places — like when you perform a particular action — such as looking for your keys in Tile’s app, viewing travel plans in Kayak, ordering groceries with Instacart and so on.

To me, this is Siri’s new secret weapon. As users start tapping the “Add to Siri” button, their Siri will become smarter. So clever.