Siri will no longer default to using Apple messaging and phone apps

Siri will no longer default to using Apple messaging and phone apps after an iOS update later in the year, revealed the company.

Instead, Siri will intelligently choose the appropriate text or voice messaging app based on your past communication with each contact…

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Bloomberg reports on the upcoming change.

Apple Inc. said it will ease some restrictions on developers of third-party apps, responding to a Bloomberg News story about the rise of in-house software that gets prized default status on iPhones and iPads.

The Cupertino, California-based company plans to release a software update later this year that will help outside messaging applications work better with the Siri digital assistant.

Right now, when iPhone users ask Siri to call or message a friend, the system defaults to Apple’s Phone or iMessage apps. If you want to use WhatsApp or Skype, you have to specifically say that.

When the software refresh kicks in, Siri will default to the apps that people use frequently to communicate with their contacts. For example, if an iPhone user always messages another person via WhatsApp, Siri will automatically launch WhatsApp, rather than iMessage. It will decide which service to use based on interactions with specific contacts. Developers will need to enable the new Siri functionality in their apps. This will be expanded later to phone apps for calls as well.

Apple appears to be taking the action in response to antitrust claims, one strand of which is that the company abuses its dominant position in order to promote its own apps over third-party ones.

CEO Tim Cook yesterday dismissed claims that Apple could be considered to be acting as a monopoly.

“No reasonable person would ever call Apple a monopoly,” he tells Stern. He also emphasizes that there is strong competition in every market where Apple is active, and that one does not have a dominant market share.

Apple has also come under fire for the 30% cut it takes on app sales and in-app payments, including subscriptions. Apple did cut its subscription commission to 15% from the second year on back in 2016 in response to earlier complaints about this aspect in particular.

Apple has, however, been on the offensive when it comes to justifying its cut.

The company also said it gives developers access to hundreds of millions of consumers in 155 countries without the need to invest time and money to distribute their apps. It offers developers free marketing in the App Store and on social media, gives personalized recommendations to users who might be interested in their apps, and provides advice from the Apple developer-relations team.

Ensuring Siri doesn’t automatically use Apple messaging and phone apps may further help the Cupertino company make the case that it plays fair with third-party developers.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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