Apple is working on changing the “Hey Siri” hotword to just plain “Siri,” and the change could roll out as early as next year.
Introduced in 2015 with the iPhone 6s, the “Hey Siri” hotword remains unchanged to this day. You also can use the phrase to invoke Apple’s voice assistant on the Mac, iPad, HomePod and Apple Watch.
You could say goodbye to the ‘Hey Siri’ trigger phrase next year
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims Apple is working on dropping the “Hey” from Siri’s trigger phrase. The change might seem like a simple one, but that’s seemingly not the case. It is a “technical challenge that requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work,” according to Gurman.
This is because with “Hey Siri,” there are two words the system must recognize and understand. With “Siri,” there is only one word. Across many dialects and accents, this proves far more difficult to recognize.
Apple is reportedly testing this change with its employees and collecting the necessary data. The engineering team has been working on this change for the last few months. However, it is unclear if it will roll out in 2023 or 2024.
Besides the hotword change, Apple is working on deeper Siri integration for third-party apps and services. Such work could overcome one of the voice assistant’s significant limitations, since Siri currently does not play well with third-party apps. In fact, Apple removed some useful Siri functionality with iOS 15 in 2015.
A change for the better
Amazon allows users to trigger its Alexa voice assistant by saying “Alexa.” Google has also tweaked its Assistant wake word since its inception, but it remains a two-phrase trigger: “Hey Google.”
Apple could release the pared-down Siri hotword alongside other significant changes. As things stand now, Siri still lags behind the competition, especially when compared with Google Assistant.