Who’s excited to get their iOS update today? Everyone, I would imagine. And if you’re not, you haven’t been reading our posts on what to expect with iOS 11. But now we have another feature from Apple that will make your day to day life a little bit more fun. Now you can get Siri to DJ for you. Yes, that’s right, Siri will be able to act as your personal DJ. The only catch is that you need to have an Apple Music account. Which is kind of funny as it seems that Apple is really trying to push that you get an Apple Music subscription. I mean, I don’t really blame them, but it is kind of limiting. At least from a choice perspective.
What do I mean by that? Well, Apple restricts you from using any other music app, other than Apple Music on your Apple Watch 3. It also limits you from streaming Spotify when using Safari. So this kind of makes sense. They are bringing out another feature, that you can only use by subscribing to their music app. That being said, iOS and Apple are kind of a one stop shop. Yes, you can get these things elsewhere, and their devices support other streaming services. But you don’t have to go there. Which is what it feels like Apple is doing with this.
Getting back to the DJ service though. Siri has been able to play music for you since the beginning but with iOS it takes the guess work out of it. Simply ask Sir to “play something I’ll like”, and you will get a personalized Apple Music radio station, tailored to your tastes. It even has your face on it and everything. You can also ask Siri to play from a particular genre, and Apple Music will serve up songs in that genre that it thinks you will like. Pretty cool, right? Yes and no.
If you use a personal assistant, like an Amazon product with Alexa capabilities, you might have already seen this. This past summer, Amazon rolled out a feature that lets you ask Alexa for music based on what you’re doing. Which sounds an awful lot like what Siri is trying to do now. I’m not knocking Siri for trying to be competitive, but Apple is rolling this out in a way that makes it sound “new” and maybe even a bit “revolutionary”.
Alexa is a bit different in that she (she?) can curate playlists designed for certain activities. Which sounds similar, but calling her a DJ would be a lot cooler. In a post on How To Geek, they actually tested out Alexa’s capabilities from this perspective. And while they too call it Dj-ing, it’s not quite there. For example, they use the command “Alexa, play music for baby making”, and her response was “Here’s a playlist for baby making music: Hot, Sweaty Summer Nights from Amazon Music”. If you read the article you will know why they are asking about baby making music. The first song on the playlist is “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles. Is that something that is really romantic?
The How To Geek article goes on to give a few more examples of what Alexa can do as it pertains to DJ-ing. The point I’m trying to make with all of this is that I wonder how much better Siri will be, or if at all? All of these personal assistants seem to be trying to “one up” each other with each new iteration. Apple is no different. Especially when they are so far behind the technology that Google and Amazon already have.