Apple’s Siri may never shrug off that ‘beta’ moniker, but what it does mean is that the company can continue to add features to the voice-powered digital assistant, seemingly on the fly.
Currently able to do all manner of things, from finding local places to eat to checking flight times, Siri is set to get a new trick with the release of iOS 6.1, the next version of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system.
According to a report by 9to5Mac, Apple’s Siri will be able to book cinema tickets once iOS 6.1 is made available to the public. Now users will be able to ask Siri to search for local cinemas playing a certain movie and then book tickets based on that search.
Reports, and indeed the leaked screenshots, suggest that Fandango will power the latest little bit of magic to make its way into Siri. Users will only be able to book tickets at cinemas that support the feature, and if Fandango is not installed then Siri will prompt the user to rectify the issue. Interestingly, Fandango movie ticket booking doesn’t seem to be built right into Siri, but rather Siri will be able to hook right into the service’s own app. This obviously begs the question of what else can be done in a similar fashion by using other apps. Time will tell what little treats Apple may have up its sleeve.
The first beta release of iOS 6.1 has only been with testers for a matter of days, so we don’t expect it to be made available to the public just yet. The release of iOS 6.0.1 has reportedly fixed some iPhone 5-related issues that stood out, meaning 6.1 could be held back for extra features to be added. At the very least, we’d expect Apple to want this new Siri feature to be tested extensively before it is thrown into the public domain.
Siri has been something of a miss for Apple so far, with the software initially missing important features such as the ability to send tweets and update Facebook. That has now been rectified and Apple seems set on adding more value to its digital assistant. With Google Now and other competition gathering pace, Siri has some work still to do.