Apple is set to streamline the way users interact with its virtual assistant Siri by changing the trigger phrase from "Hey Siri" to simply "Siri." This alteration, which will be implemented in the upcoming iOS 17 release, aims to make it more convenient for users to summon Siri across various Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more. The decision follows a previous report from Bloomberg in November, suggesting that Apple was working on transitioning Siri to a single wake word.
Until now, Apple has utilized the phrase "Hey Siri" as the wake word, as it was deemed easier for the underlying engineering and training processes to recognize a two-word trigger phrase. However, the shift to a single wake word represents a significant change, despite its apparent simplicity. Amazon's Alexa allows users to activate the assistant using either "Hey Alexa" or simply "Alexa," while Microsoft's voice assistant, Cortana, also relied on a single wake word before discontinuing its support for iOS and Android in 2021.
In contrast, Google Assistant still maintains the phrases "Hey Google" or "OK Google" as wake words, rather than a single "Google" trigger. Should Google choose to transition to a single wake word, careful consideration would be required to prevent the assistant from activating during conversations where the term "Google" is mentioned, given the ubiquitous nature of Google as a search engine and its transformation into a transitive verb.
The new wake word for Siri is expected to be available to users in September when iOS 17 is officially launched. This update aims to enhance the overall user experience by providing a more streamlined and accessible means of interacting with Apple's virtual assistant.