iOS 13.2 may support third-party apps as default on Siri: get it now

Apple is reportedly planning to ease some restrictions on third-party apps and developers when using Siri. These changes are expected to arrive with iOS 13.2. After the update, you will be able to use third-party apps as defaults on Siri. If you want, you can download the update now, but to do that, you must have access to the iOS 13.2 beta 1, Redmond Pie notes.

How will default third-party apps on Siri change?

The change involving third-party apps will primarily affect phone and messaging apps. Currently, when you ask Siri to call or message someone, the system brings up Apple’s default phone or iMessage apps. This means if you use WhatsApp, Skype or any other third-party app, you will have to specify it separately.

After the 13.2 update, when you ask Siri to call or message someone, the digital assistant will use third-party apps as default or pick the app that you use frequently. For instance, if you always use WhatsApp for messaging, then Siri will pick WhatsApp rather than iMessage. Siri will also pick the app on the basis of your interactions with specific contacts. Developers will have to enable the new Siri functionality in their apps.

This new change of using third-party apps as default on Siri could be a reply from Apple to the growing scrutiny of the control it exercises over the App Store. There have been several accusations claiming Apple’s pre-installed and default apps make it harder for third-party apps to expand their iOS user base.

Apple’s default apps policy has certainly given it an edge over third parties. Bloomberg reports that Apple has more than doubled the number of preinstalled apps on iOS devices. Although initially it was suggested that the early apps were core to the iOS experience, the more recent apps, such as Podcasts, Voice Memos, Reminders and more, are not mandatory to iPhone use.

Recently, a House antitrust panel also asked Apple about the claims of third-party app developers. Apple issued a statement saying that it offers extensive experience to users that is possible only with the integration of hardware, software and services

“With every generation of iPhone we have advanced the built in capabilities for our customers with a few default apps designed for great performance, long battery life, seamless integration, and industry-leading protections for security and privacy,” the statement read.

As of now, it is not known if the default third-party apps on Siri will apply only to the phone and messaging apps or to other apps as well, such as Photos, Mail and Calendar. If the functionality of default third-party apps on Siri expands to other purposes as well, then it could prove a game changer for Google’s or Microsoft’s services.

Here’s what iOS 13.2 brings

Apple released iOS 13.2 Beta 1 a couple of days ago. The new version comes with plenty of new features, including the headline Deep Fusion photography feature.

Other features accompanying the iOS 13.2 update are:

Announce Messages With Siri – This feature was initially expected to come with iOS 13, but it was delayed as Apple hurried to meet the iPhone 11 deadline. The feature wasn’t available in iOS 13.1 either, but it has finally made it into the iOS 13.2 developer beta. The feature allows Siri to announce incoming messages. You can enable it by going to Settings > Siri > Search and enabling Announce Messages. You need an iPhone and AirPods to take advantage of the feature.

Research Privacy Settings – iOS 13.2 comes with a new privacy section for Apple’s upcoming Research app. Apple’s Research app is not yet available, but the presence of its settings in iOS 13.2 suggests the feature will be coming soon.

AirPlay & Handoff – The Handoff section has now been renamed AirPlay & Handoff. It also now includes a “Transfer to HomePod” option and an option to turn off automatic AirPlay to TVs.

Volume in Control Center – The volume control bar in Control Center will now display an appropriate icon for AirPods, Beats Pro, BeatsX or other Beats headphones.

HomeKit Grouping – The HomeKit app now has a new option to group or ungroup accessories, which has several functions. With the update, the new accessories will show either as single or multiple tiles.

New AirPods – iOS 13.2 also reveals an upcoming AirPods design. It contains an image of what are believed to be the third-generation AirPods, which will reportedly come with active noise canceling functionality.

As of now, there is no information on the functionality of the default third-party apps on Siri. We expect more information on the functionality as developers dig deeper into the beta version. iOS 13.2 is expected to come sometime before the end of the year.

For more information on the iOS 13.2 Beta 1 features, refer to this video: