Drive much? If so, it’s likely you’ve used Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps along your journey. I live in Chicago so using Maps in the car is a must have to navigate traffic and avoid congestion and construction.
Most new cars in recent years come with the option to run CarPlay, Apple’s iOS app that brings Maps, Messages, Podcasts, iTunes Music and a few other third party apps to a screen on your car’s dashboard. On many cars Maps, Messages, and Music can be controlled via Siri.
Guess what? CarPlay is about to play nice-nice with more third party applications, including from Apple competitor Google with Maps and Waze. I’ve used all three and prefer Waze because it offers more timely and accurate information that Google or Apple Maps.
While CarPlay can be very useful in certain situations– Maps, Messages, and Music– it can be cumbersome, requires a Lightning to USB cable connection, and works best with Siri even if Siri doesn’t work all that well with other applications.
Siri and Shortcuts in iOS 12 might be a game changer because you get to create the shortcuts Siri will perform for you. How well integrated the new Siri will be to third party applications on CarPlay remains to be seen.
Even Waze said it will be awhile before their app is ready for CarPlay on iOS 12.
What I really want to see is expanded controls for Siri. Apple’s talking intelligent assistant may be the most popular on planet earth– name recognition is good– but not one of these so-called assistants is very good at performing specific tasks. That’s where Shortcuts comes in.
These shortcuts give iPhone and iPad users more control over what Siri can do. Instead of trying to learn a laundry list of commands Siri can understand, we have the ability to create the action and match it to our own command. This is one of those massive changes Apple makes every now and again that is worth more than what we see in the beginning.
iOS app developers and users will be able to share their Shortcuts with others. Commands can also be batched together so one command gets multiple actions accomplished. Since we create the Siri Shortcuts, we get an intelligent assistant that is far more personalized than trying to remember a few hundred predetermined actions created by Apple.
That also means it will take awhile before Siri Shortcuts catches on, but when it does we may very well have a sea change in usability– from tapping buttons on a screen, to simply giving Siri a single command that results in multiple actions.
Since I’m on the road often I want that same capability in CarPlay.