Apple is finally getting a bit more friendly with third party music-streaming apps when it comes to Siri.
Music-streaming companies like Spotify will soon be able to let users utilize Siri controls to play music through their apps thanks to Apple’s newly-announced Siri Shortcuts feature in iOS 12.
At a WWDC developer session, the company detailed a new “Play Media” intent it was introducing to developers with Siri Shortcuts that will let users summon audio and video media from third-party apps. The integrations would operate much less seamlessly than controls for Apple Music through Siri, but you would theoretically be able to direct Siri on the iPhone or HomePod to a designated playlist or artist on a service like Spotify, functionality that was previously not possible.
The big caveat here is that this is a developer tool and support relies on apps like Spotify and others integrating these new changes into their apps with iOS 12. In other words, don’t go bothering Siri quite yet.
What you probably won’t be able to do is ask Siri to play a specific artist or song that you haven’t already built a shortcut for. So, yeah, it’s not perfect, but it’s a start.
Developers are already playing around with how the functionality could work in the iOS 12 beta release, though without official Spotify app support things are still a bit rough.
With proper integrations the feature would launch the app in the background so you could keep your phone in your pocket while the tunes automatically started playing. At that point, Siri would also be able to handle playback controls for the app.
The “Play Media” intent boasts full HomePod support as well but you still have to set it up through the Shortcuts app on your iPhone before querying Siri on HomePod directly. The HomePod has previously only given users Siri controls to bring up songs with Apple Music.
Last week, I wrote about how Apple needed to open up its compatibility with Spotify at WWDC and while this certainly isn’t full support from the company, it is a peace offering to Spotify and other music-streaming apps which could now build functionality for users to do things like summon their playlists from Siri on the iPhone and HomePod through Siri Shortcuts.