Gus Mueller outlines some excellent benchmarks for when we’ll know Apple has taken the next serious step with iCloud:

WWDC 2013 is fast approaching, and chances are good that we’ll get some sort of preview and song and dance about how iCloud sync is even better than ever for developers. Honestly, would you expect Apple to say anything else?

But how are we going to know Apple has finally fixed iCloud syncing for developers and is really serious this time?

I still believe that many of Apple’s most exciting and ambitious plans for the future are centered around iCloud and Siri.

No doubt we’ll get a preview and song and dance about new functionality in Siri as well. But how will we know Apple has moved Siri beyond a way for hands-free texting and event creation and into something iPhone owners have just got to have?

I think of three significant benchmarks that will signal a more serious move for Apple regarding the future of Siri:

  • The first is a public API so 3rd-party apps can tie into Siri just like the calendar and text messaging apps already do. For example: imagine asking Siri to create a new OmniFocus task and setting the project, context, start, and due dates without ever being launched into OmniFocus?

  • Second, tying in the credit card we have associated with our Apple ID and using that to purchase things like movie tickets, plane tickets, and more. Looking up movie times is neat, but then being sent to the Fandango app to actually purchase them is less than magical.

  • Lastly, bring Siri to the Mac. Show that it’s not just for hands-free text messaging anymore.

As Kyle Baxter wrote last year:

If you want to know whether Apple’s going to continue its remarkable growth in the next five or more years, there’s two things you need to look at: Siri and iCloud.

iCloud is the glue that ties all our devices together. Siri is Apple’s 4th interface. But so far, these massively significant services are still mostly hanging out quietly in the background.

How to Know When Apple Finally Gets iCloud Right