Apple products, such as the iPhone 14, the iPad Pro, and the HomePod Mini, always have one thing in common: Siri. Since 2011, Apple's voice assistant has been ever-present, allowing users to interact with their device to find out information.
Simply say "Hey Siri" and the icon appears to indicate it's listening to you. Then, ask away. Common questions and commands include "what's the weather like today?" or "set a timer for X minutes." These utilise Apple's in-house suite of apps and generally have slightly better integration.
Now, Apple has planned one of the most significant overhauls to Siri's user-experience. According to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg (opens in new tab), the Cupertino powerhouse has plans to drop the "Hey" from Siri's command trigger. Instead, users will simply be able to say "Siri, what's the time?"
It's designed to work more similarly to the Alexa voice assistant used by Amazon on devices like the Echo Dot. By removing the first half of the phrase, users should have a better time making follow-up requests or multiple different requests at once.
It's a welcome upgrade, and should help to pull Siri in line with other voice assistants in terms of usability. Such a fundamental change in the way Siri works is unlikely to come on its own, either, so I'd anticipate a few more upgrades alongside.
One, which Gurman hopes for, is the ability to specify which device you're asking for Siri on. This would allow you to call up Siri on your Apple Watch, even though your iPhone was in your pocket, for example.
Another, which Gurman implies is already being engineered, is a deeper integration with third-party apps and services. This should improve Siri's ability to take the correct action when asked. One of the most common gripes with Siri is that certain requests are met with an "I can't do that" message, or referred to Google.
Having used both Siri and Alexa, it certainly feels like it lacks some of the depth of Amazon's offering. Hopefully, this update can change that.