Apple is planning a major change to how you use Siri

HomePod mini
(Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

Apple has put its smart assistant Siri at the centre of its software experience for years now. The company has updated the assistant with a ton of upgrades since its introduction, including 2014's update which let you summon Siri with a “Hey Siri” command. For over eight years now, we’ve been able to talk to Siri with that phrase, but it seems like Apple could change that soon.

Noted tech industry journalist Mark Gurman says that Apple is working on simplifying the Siri experience by changing the trigger phrase from “Hey Siri” to just “Siri”.

Siri change coming in 2023 or 2024, says Gurman

The change in the trigger phrase for Siri seems like a simple change, but Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter pointed out that the underlying work is quite a lot. Apple has apparently been testing the feature with employees for the AI training data.

Gurman notes, “The company is working on an initiative to drop the “Hey” in the trigger phrase so that a user only needs to say “Siri”—along with 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.“

Essentially, the difficulty comes from giving the AI helper less data points to work with. Hearing the words 'Hey Siri' in conjunction is a very specific phrase, which few people are unlikely to say without intent, whereas with just the voice assistant's name as the trigger the system would need to be smart enough to discern the intent to activate Siri, rather than an individual just discussing the platform (or any similar-sounding item).

That said, dropping the “Hey” seems to be something Siri is late to, with assistants like Alexa and Cortana already working with the first-name call. This isn’t the only big Siri change coming. Gurman says Apple is trying to integrate Siri deeper into third-party apps and services. 

Gurman didn’t have an exact timeline on when we can see this change rolling out to the best iPhones and other Apple devices. However, he did have a rough estimation. Apple has been working on this change for “several months,” said Gurman, and he expects it to roll out either in 2023 or 2024.

Palash Volvoikar

Palash has been a technology and entertainment journalist since 2013. Starting with Android news and features, he has also worked as the news head for Wiki of Thrones, and a freelance writer for Windows Central, Observer, MakeUseOf, MySmartPrice, ThinkComputers, and others. He also worked as a writer and journalist for Android Authority, covering computing, before returning to freelancing all over town.