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Siri updates: iOS 11 will see Siri gain two key new features

Siri will gain two significant new features in iOS 11, reports say.

It’s believed that Siri’s artificial intelligence codebase will receive a major upgrade, improving its machine-learning so that it can adapt and learn from its individual user. As a result it will learn the habits of users and be able to offer information and suggestions based on its learning.

MacRumors picked up on the report, which was posted by Israeli site The Verifier, which claims to have spoken to sources directly within the US and Israel development teams.

It also said that Siri will integrate with iCloud. The result will be that it can identify connections between devices that are associated with a user’s Apple ID and can offer choices for actions it can make across various devices such as iPhone, iPad and Mac.

If this rumor turns out to be true, it’ll give Apple users much more meaningful cross-platform support beyond its relatively basic Hand-off tool.

These upgrades should keep Apple in line with the progression of other companies AI software

These upgrades should keep Apple in line with the progression of other companies AI software

Its “contextual learning” improvements are said to work by stacking multiple queries, which would allow Siri to offer a series of options based on the context. For example, it might recognize a conversation within iMessage, analyze the information, and offer options for proceeding. Talking about dinner reservations? Siri might chime in and offer to make one. Meeting someone? Siri might offer to book an Uber.

While some may see this kind of machine learning as intrusive, it would vastly improve on Siri’s capabilities, keeping it in-step with the highly competitive virtual assistant space; competition that’s recently been ramped up after Apple’s closest competitor, Samsung, recently announced its new virtual assistant Bixby. Samsung have said that Bixby will also be able to learn from the user’s actions.

Elsewhere, Microsoft have been working on Cortana, and Amazon have been making waves with Alexa thanks, largely, to Echo speaker which has been receiving wide praise.

Apple users are likely aware of Apple’s staunch positioning on privacy – in fact, some have said it often leaves Apple trailing when it comes to new software technology like this. But in the long run, Apple’s customers will ultimately benefit if the company takes a longer route towards AI.

Though the rumor can’t be verified, and the website doesn’t have an established history for accurate advance information, it does chime with the expected boost to Siri’s capability for iOS 11.

iOS 11 is expected to be unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s conference in San Francisco this June, before seeing a release alongside a series of new iPhones in September.