In an effort to keep Siri more up to date on current affairs, it seems that Apple has now given her the ability to not only answer questions about the U.S. election, but actually deliver live results as the votes are counted in each stage, so you’ll be able to keep track as things unfold.
Apple announced back in December that it would be teaming up its Apple News service with ABC News to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of all key events throughout the 2020 presidential election cycle, starting with the New Hampshire Democratic primary debate which was held last week right through to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the general debates, election night, and even the final presidential inauguration early next year.
Now it seems that Apple is letting Siri get in on the game too. As TechCrunch discovered, users will be able to ask Siri a wide variety of questions about the U.S. election, not only just for general information, but even to ask about real-time results.
For example, you could ask Siri ”When are the California primaries?” just to get basic information on when something is being held, or you can ask something like “Who’s winning the New Hampshire primaries?” and get real-time results as the votes are being tallied.
The process is in fact much like getting scores and standings for your favourite sports teams; Siri will respond with a short verbal summary, followed by a “2020 Elections Coverage” card from Apple News that provides stats on each of the candidates, with votes cast and percentages. Many of Siri’s responses will also provide a link to get full coverage in the Apple News app for those who want to read more.
Apple News Has You Covered
According to Apple, the live results are coming from the Associated Press, which is also feeding results into Apple News to provide county-by-county results and a national map that will provide a visual overview of candidate wins by each state primary, along with other information.
Apple already announced last year that it would also be partnering with FiveThirtyEight to get polling data, infographics, and other analysis during other key moments, all of which will be available in Apple News and will likely be used to field questions directed toward Siri as well.
In addition to its high-profile partnership with ABC, Apple also notes that it’s working with several other news partners, including CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, ProPublica, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME, and USA Today, among others.
Apple dipped its toes in the water with providing election coverage in Apple News for the midterm elections two years ago, however the U.S. presidential election is obviously a much more significant event, and Apple wants to make sure it pulls out all of the stops this time to make Apple News and Siri the “go to” information sources for iPhone and iPad users. The coverage this year will include not only the obvious news sources, but also a series of curated guides, special features, and other informational resources to help readers understand some of the most important issues and topics and stay informed about what’s going on.
In fact, Apple has even partnered with the News Literacy Project to offer a news literacy guide (Apple News link) to “help readers identify misinformation online and offer simple tips for seeking out accurate and reliable information.”
As for Siri, TechCrunch notes that her ability to answer election questions appears to still be rolling out slowly, so you may find Siri is still defaulting to web results for at least some questions. It’s also unclear if it will be available to Siri users outside of the U.S.