Siri gets a lot of flack from Apple device users—and it’s often well deserved. The voice assistant’s performance is generally spotty, sometimes downright recalcitrant, and—in my house anyway—tends to evoke frustrated yelling.
But Apple has long been using Siri as the catchall for its various artificial intelligence and machine learning ventures, and much as it may surprise you to hear me say it: some of them are actually pretty great.
For the last year, I’ve been relying on one specific use of these machine learning technologies: the Siri Suggestions widget on iOS and iPadOS.
Widgets were, of course, a big hit when iOS 14 was released last year, allowing users to customize their home screens with not just app icons but data pulled from their favorite apps.
But the Siri Suggestions widget has proved to be a valuable, if overlooked, addition as well.
Many people have probably used Siri Suggestions without even realizing it: if you’ve noticed the apps and actions that appear when you swipe down to bring up Spotlight on your iPhone or iPad, that’s Siri Suggestions.…