What comes first at Apple? Customers? Or, money? Money. And the money comes from iPhone customers. Apple’s newest and best technology goes into iPhone first, then begins a trickle down economics plan which might bring new features and functions to the Mac. Someday.
Touch ID has been around on iPhone and iPad for years, but just made it to the MacBook Pro line a couple of years ago. Customers love it. Now, before any other Mac could get Touch ID, Apple has moved on to Face ID. All the new iPhones have Face ID. iPad Pro has it, too. What about the Mac?
Trickle Down Features
Apple has applications on iPhone and iPad for years that just now made it to the Mac. News and Stocks are good examples. What about Siri? Yes, Siri is on the Mac, but iPhones have Siri Shortcuts. The Mac? Nope. I want Siri Shortcuts on macOS. The cool thing about Siri Shortcuts is you don’t have to remember what commands Siri knows to do this or that. You create the command– a shortcut– and tell Siri to run the command using your own phrases.
Check out Siri on Apple’s website, but for all the glittery details, simply Google “Siri Shortcuts.” For iPhone and iPad users you’ll need the free Shortcuts app from the App Store. If you wonder why Siri has been called the dumbest of the talking intelligent assistants– none of which are very intelligent– it may be because Apple was working on making Siri useful.
Think of the advantages of phrases like these:
- “Hey Siri, call Dad on speaker” (call and speaker phone actions)
- “Hey Siri, text Mary ‘I’m on the way'”
- “Hey Siri, read my last message.”
- FaceTime my Dad (you don’t even need ‘Hey Siri)
- “Hey Siri, wake me up at 8 AM”
- “Hey Siri, remind me to pickup dry cleaning when I leave work.”
The latter action is exactly what can make Siri and excellent tool. I’ve been playing around with Siri Shortcuts on my iPhone for a week. There is a learning curve, and some expected actions Siri won’t actually perform, but it doesn’t take much to create a health library of Siri Shortcuts, and they can be shared by other iPhone users, so you know this will catch on and grow fast.
Where is the Siri Shortcuts app for the Mac? Nowhere to be found. Siri on the Mac is more lame than Siri was on iPhone and iPad a couple of years ago. The Mac has Automator actions, Apple Script, and a small but vocal group of Mac customers which use both, but neither one is applicable for the great unwashed masses of Mac users the way Siri Shortcuts is on iPhone.
As usual, the Mac takes a backseat to everything new and shiny on iOS. It took a few years for Touch ID to go from iPhone to Mac. It may take a few more years to get Face ID into the Mac. I think I’ll withhold my next Mac purchase until Apple steps up its game and gets both Face ID and Siri Shortcuts (synchronized via iCloud) on macOS.