Siri Not Included in OS X Mountian Lion. Here’s Why.


Apple’s latest operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, will be released this summer, and a bunch of new features have already been announced. Apple has said they are so proud of the success of iOS, they want to start to bring that “feel” over to OS X.

One feature not announced for OS X 10.8 is Siri. Granted, Siri isn’t really an iOS feature, as much as it is an iPhone 4S feature, but this is something that could come in handy on a desktop or laptop computer. So, why wouldn’t this be ported over? One of the answers is in the hardware, not the software.

The iPhone 4S has different hardware in it, that deals with background noise differently than other iOS devices, and definitely different than our Macs. With the iPhone, you hold it up to your face to talk into it. You generally wouldn’t do that with your computer. Also, the iPhone 4S uses 2 microphones to process the incoming audio. The main one on the bottom of the phone, and the tiny pinhole mic on the top. This allows Siri to hear you clearly by filtering out the background noise, and better processing what you’re saying. Your Mac only has the one mic. Future Macs may come with the proper hardware, and maybe we’ll see a Mac version of Siri, but I don’t think it will be included in on operating system update.

There are other reasons we may not see Siri in OS X. Since Macs currently don’t have GPS built in, there would be issues with location detection.  In some cases it would just be easier to type out what you want to do, rather than initiating Siri, and telling her to do it for you. In the case of MacBooks, you don’t always have a connection to the internet, unless you are stationary somewhere on Wifi.

Do you think Apple should include Siri on upcoming Macs? Let us know in the comments below.



  • CMfly

    I think they should include it. The computer is powerful enough to do speech recognition, I don’t need gps my computer seems to know where it is anyways when I post on facebook, plus I wouldn’t use it for that sort of thing I don’t think… It would be more like “Hey siri launch google chrome”, “Hey siri check my gmail”

  • CMfly

    I also think they will Apple is very secretive and won’t show it off until release time.. Plus you will probably need a new mac to use it just so they can sell more, not because your built in mic can’t handle it…

  • Dwynca83

    Would it come in handy to say, open applications or to look for files on your computer? Absolutely. Though Siri doesn’t seem ready yet…
    I do think think it will be a feature in future models, once out of Beta not to mention a huge selling point in the coming years

  • Anonymous

    Even if we don’t have the proper hardware, it’s not as noisy in our computer room than in a bus, for example. Apple should bring Siri to Mountain Lion, it would be a major upgrade and a lot of people would buy ML (because, let’s be honest, ML is not that impressive yet.).

  • Rio

    Actually this functionality is already present on Macs under speech in system prefs.

    It only works in a quiet environment but still can be useful at times. You can tell it to open applications, play music, tell you a joke etc. 

    Try it out

  • Edge

    As we all know, Siri’s limitation is NOT HARDWARE RELATED – it’s driven by sales, which is fine. So, Siri on a Mac would work just fine!!

    Would it be useful, probably… That being said, Siri’s more of a party trick for me (and one that got old after a few days!), but not something I use every day (maybe once a week…). It’s very good at what it does, but if your mobile data connection isn’t fast (and it isn’t always) then it’s really not great.

    My 2 cents…

  • John

    Ever try covering the noise cancelation mic and using Siri?

    Works just fine.

    Ever use headphones with Siri?

    Works just fine.

    It’s a marketing thing for Apple, not a hardware limitation.

  • Edge

    Agree 100%. Anyone who believes this hardware stuff has drunk too much of the Apple koolaid (and I’m a big Apple fan, I just choose to actually think…)

  • Kraken

    You don’t need built-in  GPS.  Siri can easily locate you via MAC ID look up.  Run Google maps on your iPod Touch or iPad WIFI and hit locate me, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not as accurate as GPS, but pretty close.

  • Peter Pottinger

    The real reason is because apple has decided not to do it yet. Duh.

  • Ss

    I disagree, iphone needs the noise cancellation as people generally use it outdoors, etc. A computer will likely be used in a quiet area. Also location detection is easy enough with your ip, there are safari currently allows location detection, and so does google chrome.

  • Nonsense. The built-in microphones are just fine. Anyone who subscribes to this theory of hardware-issues, try out the speech feature of the current Mac OS X – it registers your voice just fine. If anything holding Apple back from putting Siri on the Mac, it would be iPhone 4S sales profit related.

    Personally, I think Siri is being implemented in Mac OS X, it is bound to be at some point, and by the looks of Mountain Lion at this point I’m not really impressed by the features presented – it’s still missing some tentpole feature, which could definitely be Siri, since we’re still just being shown an early preview.

  • Anonymous

    Ok are you really even asking this question? Of course they should bring it to the Mac. Seriously? Also have you ever heard of using Apple Headphones or an external microphone? Let’s get with times people. My Mom just bought a PC that talks to her, and since Apple is so much better than Microsoft I expect the same in a Mac. With that said if it is a question of hardware, then update the hardware and roll it out in conjunction with Moutain Lion. I’m in the market for a new Mac anyway so the timing would be perfect.

  • Anonymous

    More accurately it was a way to control server load and not have every IOS device and Mac with OSX killing its server farm ruining the launch and the rep of the “new” siri service instantly..

    Keep in mind that behind the scenes Siri is learning about you and tailoring its voice recognition as well as its responses.. thats much more possible in an entirely closed system such as IOS version “whatever starts siri on the 4s” than it is in a random collection of macs using all sorts of software that may or may not expose the data needed..

    IE if I use thunderbird email on a Mac.. there is no way in hell that Siri could figure out that Email my brother.. meant to send an email to “randomhomeemaildress”which Siri *ONLY* knows how to do based on the tight integration between the ios contact list, email, and Siri itself.. If we start having a Siri for OSX that has to ask you to “import everything into Mail, Contacts, etc.. or worse gets confused and starts sending the wrong shit to the wrong place.. people get pissed.. its all about managing expectations.. on IOS Siri can be Magical.. on OSX.. not so much without putting so many caveats on it that it becomes downright silly..

    that said.. I think that a Siri front end to “desktop interaction” is more likely than not in a future iteration of OSX..