This is the fourth post in our annual 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year. This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.
For the fourth request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:
4. A Smarter Way to Order Cabs with Siri
With the release of iOS 10 last year, Apple fundamentally changed how cabs are ordered with Siri as part of its expansion of 3rd-party Siri integrations. Previously, saying phrases like , "Get me a taxi," would result in Siri offering to call a taxi company. As of iOS 10, Siri depends on users having compatible 3rd-party apps to book taxi rides. If a user does not have one installed, Siri offers to search the App Store. Apple's new approach makes it a lot harder for users, especially those who use alternate ways to access iOS, to get a taxi if they are in an area that does not yet have a compatible app or they don't have the local taxi company's app installed. I myself have experienced both scenarios.
What we'd like to see Apple do is give Siri back the ability to call cab companies. In practice, Siri could ask if it should use an installed app, search the App Store for a suitable app, or call a cab. Sometimes, including support for the most readily available technology, in this case phone calls, is the most user friendly approach, no matter how old and faded the technology may seem in today's high-tech world.
Tip: I've come up with a work-around to the above. Tell Siri to get directions to the nearest taxi and, when you find the one you want, just say, "call it," instead of "yes."
For more things we'd like Apple to include in upcoming releases, please see:
Accessible Apple articles take a significant amount of volunteer effort to put together. This year, we ask readers to consider making a donation to support the development of an independent living skills training centre for training Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, and deaf blind in independent living skills such as assistive technology, literacy, independent travel, cooking, etc. These skills are essential and training centres help provide them. More information and donation links can be found here.