iOS 12 Shortcuts & Deep linking: Developers Should Consider Siri’s Apps During Development

October 17, 2018 - 4 minutes read

Virtual assistants from Cortana, to Alexa, to Google Assistant are becoming more integrated in our lives each and every day. From dictating and sending text messages through our smartwatch, to telling our smart home device to change the temperature, AI is a bigger part of our digital lifestyles. Now with the release of iOS 12, so is the Apple assistant, Siri.

Siri is steadily becoming more prominent each day, meaning iPhone app developers will want to keep Siri in mind when developing their apps. By doing so, developers can potentially increase their app’s retention and discoverability. Two ways of doing this are through Siri Shortcuts and deep linking.

  1. Siri Shortcuts & SiriKit
  2. Deep Linking
  3. Getting Started with Siri Shortcuts & Deep Linking

Siri Shortcuts & SiriKit

Included in the iOS 12 release was Siri Shortcuts, which gives users the ability to create custom Siri voice commands. Siri Shortcuts present a slew of new opportunities for developers that can lead to increased retention, usage and rediscovery. With Siri Shortcuts, users can speed up common tasks like searching for music, booking an Uber and ordering a custom Starbucks coffee.

Using SiriKit, developers can build an extension within their app that integrates with the Shortcuts App, enabling custom shortcut capabilities. This is key for developers, as shortcuts increase ease of app usage and creates an overall better user experience. If they receive an improved experience, users are more likely to continue using an app. Finally, once a shortcut is enabled, users have the ability to quickly and constantly come back to the app by simply saying “Hey Siri…”

By integrating SiriKit and enabling Siri Shortcuts, developers can strengthen their app’s use. In addition to using Siri to grow an app’s usage, developers can also work with Siri to increase their app’s discoverability through deep linking.

Deep Linking, Spotlight Search & App Packs

Deep linking is the process of specifying keywords within an app’s content. When users are searching via Siri Search Suggestions (Spotlight), links to relevant apps appear. For example, searching “coupon” yields apps that are targeting “coupon” in their build. Apps already installed on users’ phones containing relevant deep linked keywords appear as well.

In addition to this, deep linked apps can also appear in Google Search within App Packs, which is a content block containing apps relevant to the search query in Google’s online search results.

This is important to note because when users are searching via Siri, it provides both an opportunity to discover and rediscover your app. To ensure that developers are maximizing their discoverability potential and App Store Optimization strategy, deep linking is highly recommended.

Getting Started with Siri Shortcuts & Deep Linking

As Siri becomes further prominent in the Apple ecosystem, so will it in users’ lives. It is important that developers take this into consideration when developing their apps, as Siri can potentially increase app discoverability and usage. With Siri Shortcuts, developers are able to create extensions that make their app’s functions easier to navigate via Siri. Additionally, by deep linking searchable keywords in an app’s build, they are made easier to discover via Siri. Overall, iOS 12 and Apple present new methods for developers to create better experiences for their users. By taking advantage of Siri’s integration, developers will be increasing their user retention and discoverability.

For information on how Dogtown Media can help with designing and developing your app, talk with their mobile app development team. To learn more about app store optimization and Gummicube visit

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