Anyone who needs to use their iPhone hands-free knows how useful Siri can be. If you can't look at your iPhone, but still need to read and reply to messages, Siri has your back. Third-party applications have traditionally been unable to utilize this feature, but now that luck has turned for Facebook's other popular messaging service, WhatsApp.
In a new update, WhatsApp users will now be able to ask Siri to read back their most recent messages. No longer will you have to wait until you can pick up your phone to know who said what. Now all you have to do is just say "Hey, Siri, read me my last message on WhatsApp," and Siri will comply. Just note that your iPhone needs to be running iOS 10.3 for this update to work.
This is going to be welcome news to a fair number of people, considering that as of January, WhatsApp boasts an active user base of 1.2 billion users. That's a lot of people and, naturally, a lot of messages. Siri looks like she has her work cut out for her.
Just one caveat: Based on the changelog, it doesn't appear that Siri will let you reply to these messages after she reads them. That feature, it seems, will have to be saved for a future update.
While Siri has a reputation for, well, not working, it looks like Apple is hoping major third-party apps will boost usage, and make their personal assistant the envy of the rest. Right now it has to compete with Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana, and Amazon's Alexa. But since Apple has made Siri available for third parties to use, the assistant's efficiency and practicality seem to have greatly increased.
It appears, in Apple's eyes, the more apps that jump on board, the more iPhones Apple can get in people's hands, and the less irrelevant Siri will be in a world increasingly filled with competing digital assistants.