Apple Planning to Revamp How You Talk to Siri: Gurman

In this week’s edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that Apple is working on revising the “Hey Siri” trigger phrase for its AI-powered virtual assistant to simplify it.

Today, often the quickest way to launch Siri on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and HomePod is to use the cue “Hey Siri.” Now Apple is aiming to make that process a bit simpler.

According to Gurman, Apple wants to drop the “Hey” from its “Hey Siri” trigger phrase. Instead, users will be able to hail Apple’s virtual assistant by simply saying “Siri,” followed by a command.

“While that might seem like a small change, making the switch is a technical challenge that requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work,” Gurman noted.

Apple is already testing the new wake word internally and collecting the necessary training data to make the switch, Gurman said. The tipster learned that Apple has been working on this change for several months and hopes to roll it out as early as next year or the year after.

A shorter wake command could also speed up back-to-back requests. Gurman highlighted that while Siri has improved over the past few years, it has been plagued by trivial yet experience-breaking shortcomings and, more often than not, lagged behind the competition.

The tipster said Apple is engineering further changes for Siri beyond simplifying the wake phrase. Apple is trying to integrate Siri deeper into third-party apps and services, and also improve the voice assistant’s ability to understand users and perform the right actions.

Gurman also floated the idea of allowing users to specify which device they want to hail Siri on. Such a feature would be a major quality-of-life improvement for many, given that hardcore Apple users often have more than one Siri-equipped device in their immediate vicinity.

Last week, Gurman’s newsletter reported that Apple is delaying its next Mac launches, which are expected to include higher-end M2 Pro/Max MacBook Pro models and an M2 Mac mini, to spring 2023.

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