Apple announced Monday that it will open Siri to third-party developers through an API, allowing the voice assistant to activate other applications using voice commands.
The move follows similar announcements by Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and SoundHound. Until now, Apple has done little to capitalize on its former lead, protecting its technology and keeping control close to the vest.
In iOS 10, an individual will have the ability to tell Siri to "send a WeChat to Nancy telling her I'll be 5 minutes late," and Siri will summon the WeChat app.
The news was released at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco Monday.
Apple also brought Siri to the Mac, with the ability to add calendar entries and reminders, play music, and search the computer similar to Microsoft Cortana for the PC.
Apple TV also gained features via the voice assistant. Siri has improved searches for movies and TV shows in the updated version of tvOS. It can search the database of 650,000 movies and shows using more complex topical queries such as "horror companies from the '90s."
Siri also can search YouTube using spoken commands such as “search YouTube for Apple advertisements."
Not opening Siri to third-party developers earlier in the process put Apple at a disadvantage. Earlier this month, Amazon said it now offers more than 1,000 third-party skills, thanks to innovators like Uber and SciFutures that have built apps using the Alexa Skills Kit for developers.