Reports of looming Siri makeover are not fake news, just a little old

By

HomePod
Maybe we're not getting a new, Siri-powered HomePod this year after all.
Photo:

It looks like Siri suffered a bit of a hangover from WWDC 2017. Monday’s reports of a Siri makeover to be unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference look like nothing but old news.

The cheeky nuggets, which came straight from Siri when asked about the upcoming event, appear to be leftover responses designed to create buzz about last year’s WWDC.

Some outlets, including Cult of Mac, wrote about a looming change in Siri’s voice and an upgrade to the HomePod smart speaker. In the past 24 hours, the “news” bubbled up from tech publications and frothed over into mainstream outlets like USA Today and CNBC.

The reports were based on a series of Siri responses to the question, “Tell me about WWDC.” Siri’s answers included, “La la la, Siri is getting a brand new voice!” and “I’m gonna have a shiny new home! Well, not really shiny, more meshy and matte.”

Debunking the Siri ‘leaks’

In retrospect, it looks like those responses related to last year’s WWDC revelations about Siri and HomePod. Astute readers (including Cult of Mac commenters — thanks!) and some tech journalists were immediately skeptical.

They began debunking the report, which first appeared in The Apple Post after one of its reporters discovered the responses to the questions. Still, many other news sites ran with the story and posted screen captures of the responses.

On Tuesday, none of those responses appear when asking Siri the same questions. This suggests that Apple technicians may have removed responses left over from 2017.

When asked about the situation by Cult of Mac, Apple declined to comment.

That the responses were related to the 2017 developer conference makes a great deal of sense. Apple fine-tuned Siri’s voice to sound more natural last year. And, of course, WWDC 2017 marked the official introduction of the HomePod smart speaker.

This year’s event will likely include talk of Apple’s ongoing efforts to boost Siri’s brainpower and make HomePod more competitive.