Siri is not available to developers, and there’s no guarantee it will be. But it hasn’t stopped developers from tapping its power. Appsfire, an app discovery service, has created a little hack that allows iPhone 4S users to find apps with their voice.
Users tell Siri to send an email to Ask Appsfire and in the subject line they can put in the keywords they’re looking for, like “personal finance apps” or “apps for Halloween.” You’ll need to create a contact for Ask Appsfire’s email address first. Leave the body of the email blank, then send it off. Appsfire receives the email, comes up with appropriate answers and emails back the best suggestions, which can take you directly to the App Store for downloading.
If a user has already downloaded an Appsfire App or App Deals app on their phone and signed in though Facebook Connect, they can get a push notification for every matching result. If you don’t have an iPhone 4S, you can still access Ask Appsfire by emailing it the old-fashioned way.
This is a simple fix that works because Appsfire has enabled its service to be accessed via email. But it shows how developers can get Siri to work for them to engage consumers. Ideally, developers will be able to have this built into iOS 5 or into the Appsfire apps, but until that happens, this is one way to leverage the ease of use of Siri.
Ouriel Ohayon, founder of Appsfire, said using Siri was more of a test to see how it can work, and the functionality was designed to help give consumers faster access to the App Store while on the go without having to go through a browsing list. He said until Apple opens up Siri, others will also be looking at this opportunity.
“Siri is a great add-on, and it would be so much better if it was open to developers. I think many services will try to hack it because it is convenient on the go,” he said.
I think Apple will have increasing requests from developers who want to leverage the intelligence of Siri. It’s a great opportunity to really empower a lot of apps if Siri can be embedded; it would help people interact with a lot more apps if they could connect using Siri instead of manually opening apps every time.
Take a look at a video of Ask Appsfire and Siri in action: