Siri is getting a lot of new responsibilities in iOS 12 with a feature called “Shortcuts.” This will allow users to quickly perform specific actions, either by voice or through a prompt on the lock screen. For instance, you can create a “travel plans” shortcut that brings up booking info from Kayak, get prompted every morning to place a coffee order on your way out the door, or quickly enable Do Not Disturb as you’re entering the movie theater.
A new Shortcuts app will even allow users to string multiple actions together under a custom voice command. You might have a “heading home” shortcut that loads directions from Apple Maps, texts your spouse, and starts playing NPR. These triggers will be supported on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and HomePod. Creating a Shortcut seems similar to building an automation in Workflow, a powerful app that Apple acquired last year.
It’s unclear exactly how much work will be required of developers to enable these features, but presumably Apple will make its case for supporting Shortcuts during this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.