App discovery is a huge problem on the App Store. There are dozens upon dozens of apps looking to solve the problem, and for the most part, they all fail in the same way – finding apps isn’t actually easier than browsing the App Store. In a recent 51-page patent application filed with the USPTO, Apple seems to be working on a new solution as well. From the looks of it, in the future you may just be able to just tell Siri your problem, and she’ll then go out and find the right app and information for the job.
According to the patent filing uncovered by Apple Insider:
[quote]Many users may have difficulty even discovering what functionality and/or information is available on their electronic devices or on various websites,” the filing states. “Thus, such users may become frustrated over overwhelmed, or may simply be unable to use the resources available to them in an effective manner.[/quote]
We’re already seeing a lot of this happen with Siri. You can ask Siri a ton of questions ranging from restaurant recommendations to sports scores, math problems to movie times, and in all cases Siri will go out and find the information you need without ever requiring you to pay for, download, and open up an application. You can even tweet directly from Siri without the use of a Twitter application, using nothing but your voice to activate the feature and dictate your thoughts on how tasty your brunch was to all of your followers.
Siri’s going to be around for a while, and in the near future the service may just kill off some of your favorite single-use, information-based applications. It’s one way to clean out the App Store, and clean up our Home screens. To be honest, we don’t really need ten different apps that do only one thing. What most of us need is something like Siri answering our questions and doing the behind the scenes research for us while we go about living life.