After years of largely limiting Siri's default capabilities to its own apps, Apple appears to finally be loosening things up and letting third-party messaging apps in on the fun. The iPhone-maker is reportedly prepping a software update for later this year that will allow apps such as WhatsApp and Skype to work better with its digital assistant.
Under the new update you will be able to ask Siri to make a call and the system, recognizing you usually call this contact over WhatsApp or Skype, will use one of those apps as opposed to defaulting to Apple's own Phone and FaceTime apps, Bloomberg reported on Oct. 2.
You can currently have Siri complete a task in some third-party apps, like asking for directions to be opened in Google Maps or send a message over WhatsApp. Spotify also recently updated its mobile app for iOS 13, letting you . But these features are still limited. You need to explicitly tell Siri to do so in that particular app as opposed to just saying "get directions" or "send a message." Not mentioning a specific app will have Siri default to using Apple's own versions of those applications.
As part of this new software, Bloomberg notes, Siri will instead "default to the apps that people use frequently to communicate with their contacts," understanding that if you communicate with a particular person largely over WhatsApp, a message should be sent through that app as opposed to Messages.
Developers, the report adds, will need to add the new feature to their apps. Messaging apps will get it first but Bloomberg says it will later expand to phone calls.
Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.
Originally published Oct. 2.
Updated, Oct. 8: Adds details on Siri support for third-party apps.