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  1. Hardware
June 14, 2016

Apple opens up Siri to developers amid slew of iOS updates

Company has made Apple Pay available through Safari.

By James Nunns

Apple’s annual developer conference was greeted with traditionally high expectations for answers as to how it would combat slowing hardware sales, with the company aiming to solve this by making its services smarter and more open to outside developers.

Several changes were revealed by Apple CEO Tim Cook during a two hour keynote that focused on changes to its four software operating systems for the iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV.

The main take-away should be that the company is allowing non-Apple developers to add features to some of its most widely used services such as Messages, Maps, and Siri.

On the Siri front it will now be available on the desktop, which was formerly known as OS X and is now called macOS.

The company’s decision to open Siri to developers will mean that users can ask it to do things like call an Uber, search for photos on Pinterest and control exercise apps with voice commands.

A Siri SDK has been created so that developers will be able to incorporate it into their apps, the idea seems to be to increase the market reach of the virtual assistant.

A host of iOS updates will be coming as Apple redesigns Music and Maps, reveals new notifications and expanded 3D Touch capabilities.

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Apple Music, which launched a year ago, is being a complete redesign in order to make it easier to navigate. The company is also added "discovery mix", a feature that will tailor a playlist to listeners’ tastes.

Maps is another service to be redesigned in order to make it easier to use. A user will be able to see more of a map when the app is opened and new integrations will open up the ability to book rides, make restaurant reservations, and pay for them using Apple Pay all through Maps.

Apple Pay will soon be available to use for making online payments through Safari.

Anthony Duffy, Director of Retail Banking in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu: "The announcement of the launch of Apple Pay for Safari is significant, as it extends the reach of the company’s payments capabilities to those who shop online. It is also further evidence that the volumes and margins available within the payments industry make it highly attractive."

Fans of emoji can celebrate as iMessage will soon include larger sized images. That’s not the only update to messages though as users will also be able to share songs directly from Apple Music and write notes using their own handwriting.

The updates keep on rolling for Apple with enhancements made to Photos that will help users to better organise their collections by automatically organising by person, this is possible through the use of facial recognition.

The Photos app is also adding Memories so that photos can be bundled together based upon events and locations.

One of the most pleasing updates to iOS 10 will be the ability to uninstall Apple apps, these are the apps that come pre-built into the phone when you first buy it. Users will now be able to delete those Apple apps and download them again if they want them.

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