We have something to confess. We at Oval are talkers, big talkers, and our days' are spent in a thousand different discussions on a thousand different topics.
Could we exclude this fizzy part of our personalities in our app? Of course not: that's where the idea of Siri's integration comes from.
All jokes aside, the latest market research indicates that there is a great increase in the services of artificial intelligence linked to voice control. Almost one in three Italians (30%) now regularly uses the search functions or voice commands of their smartphones. This statistic showed us that integrating Siri into our Oval savings steps was the next natural step for our app, and it would add so much value to the savings lives of our users that we knew we had to give it to them.
Even better, our very own front-end developer and King of the Oval Ambassadors; Andrea Pacino, is able to give us a blow-by-blow account of the development of this fantastic new feature.
Hi Pacino! So, tell us how you developed the new Siri feature!
How can I explain this in just a few words? Ok, let's try. We initially developed the feature in Swift, Apple's programming language. Oval, however, is an application developed in react native, so we had to create a compatibility bridge that would allow us to connect the structure developed in native language with that of the app.
Specifically, how did you connect Siri?
At the development level, Apple allows you to interact with Siri through an instrument called SiriKit, which allows you to create new shortcuts connected to Siri that can then be integrated into different apps. It is thanks to this system that we managed to create the shortcut "put aside with Siri" by connecting it with a bridge to the Oval structure.
SiriKit offers a world of development options, thanks to the huge knowledge of user actions. Et voila, herein lies the opportunity to create custom voice commands to save money even faster!
For example, do you drink too much coffee and would you like to reduce the quantity? Punish yourself by choosing the command word "Coffee" to put away a sum every time you drink one too many. Or, maybe you’re a person of few words? If so then maybe the taciturn, one-word "Save" command is the one for you. Just attach a number to it in order to put aside money every time you repeat this word.
The solutions are endless and everyone can have fun choosing their own commands to personalize their savings experience, in pure Oval style. However, Apple has very restrictive regulations when it comes to money and payments, so the possibilities of development are currently limited.
Explain how to set it up
To register your voice command simply enter the app, click on the green "weekly savings" card and register the amount you wish to set aside in your digital wallet.
After confirming a screen will appear on which you can record your custom voice command. Use this command to set aside the same amount of money each time, simply by saying the same sentence, easy no?
What did you like most about this project? Apart from the love for development in native?
Working on the Siri shortcuts. They’ve only become available recently (since version 12 of iOS) and so are still "fresh" developments. It’s always very stimulating working in a situation like this because the solutions made available by others are still few and far between, and every obstacle requires a lot of research and ingenuity.
Honestly, I have done a lot of research, especially on Apple literature, industry articles and best practices and now I feel confident in saying that I’ve built a wealth of knowledge on the subject!
What difficulties did you encounter?
As I said before, there are only a few possibilities of development at our disposal. Additionally, because both the Native react and Siri’s shortcuts were developed recently, it made the interface mechanism between them more complicated – but when do we ever keep things simple here?!
Sorry, now I have to go and make some more savings… “Siri make a deposit in Oval”.