Introducing SiriKit Media Intents

Written by Stefan Herold

Description: iOS 13 enhances SiriKit by bringing all new support for audio content playback. See how to provide an excellent, hands-free experience for playing your music, audiobooks, podcasts, radio, and more. Dive into best practices for handling search terms, discover how to provide a complete experience with playback speeds, adding to playlists, and allowing customers to tell you if they like or dislike content.

Possible Phrases For 3rd Party Apps

  • Tell <MyApp> that I love pop music
  • Play Khalid on <MyApp>
  • I don't like this song
  • Add this to my library


  • INPlayMediaIntent to allow playing audio
  • INAddMediaIntent to add media items to playlists and libraries
  • INUpdateMediaAffinitiyIntent to express affinity to media items
  • INSearchForMediaIntent to search for specific media in your app
  • Support for playback controls let users say Play Billie Eilish shuffled in <MyApp>
  • Supported audio types: Music, Podcasts, Audiobooks, Radio
  • Even search for unsupported media types possible
  • caveat: search queries will be untyped

Handling SiriKit Media Requests

  • Handling requests through Siri app extension
  • Don't forget to add the Siri capability to your app
  • Request processing involves Resolve > Confirm > Handle
  • See 10:15 or an extensive example about Adding intents to your app, Specify supported intents and media types, Implement resolve, handle for INPlayMediaIntent and INAddMediaIntent

Best Practices

  • If Siri support already added:
    • The new API uses existing code for handling background app launch
    • You need to add resolve methods
    • You need to update intents extension with supported media types
  • Apple Watch
    • Foreground app launch via INPLayMediaIntentResponseCode.continueInApp
    • Intent is handled by your WKExtensionDelegate
    • Prefer on-device cache in your resolve method - only use network if absoloutey necessary
  • Process results in resolve method case insesnitive becaue Siri might give you upper case results
  • Write an effective search method - be flexible since
    • Siri might understand certain media types, e.g. video if video is part of what the user searches
    • Siri might understand sun or son
  • Always populate title, artist and typein the returned INMediaItem since they all influence Siri's output
  • Handle error cases gracefully
    • Most common error is not found: INPlayMediaMediaItemResolutionResult(InMediaItemResolutionResult.unsupported())
    • List of possible errors in INPlayMediaMediaItemUnsupportedReason
  • When you support playback controls in your app also support them in Siri
    • Play <Song> on repeat in <MyApp>
    • Play <Playlist> on shuffle in <MyApp>
    • Resume <Podcast> at double speed in <MyApp>
    • Play <Artist> in <MyApp> next|later
  • User says Play <MyApp>
    • Don't ask what to play!
    • Choose something interesting automatically or resume the queue
  • User vocabulary helps Siri recognize important named entities
  • Global vocabulary is appropriate for global app terms

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Missing anything? Corrections? Contributions are welcome 😃


Written by

Stefan Herold

Stefan Herold

Stefan Herold is an iOS Developer a.d. 2009 • iOS / OSX Enthusiast • WWDC20 • Now: @ioki_mobility • Passionate Mountainbiker