Siri is available on the iPhone and iPad, and is rumored to be heading to the Apple TV, but when will we see it in OS X on Macs?
Siri is Apple’s voice recognition personal assistant on iPhone and iPad that allows users to execute commands by voice. It aims at being a hands-free solution for navigating your iPhone or iPad and — at times — doing those things quicker than you could with your own fingers.
It was first introduced in iOS 5 alongside the launch of the iPhone 4s back in 2011. Since then, Apple’s virtual assistant spread to the iPad and is available on all iOS devices except for the Apple TV, but it’s heavily rumored to arrive on Apple’s set-top streaming box later this year when a new model is expected to release.
However, OS X is one platform that Apple has yet to support when it comes to Siri, and considering that voice control is becoming more and more of a thing, it makes sense for Macs to have Siri capabilities, either now or in the near future.
Google Chrome on the desktop now includes voice search and Microsoft is bringing its Siri competitor Cortana to Windows 10. At this point, there’s nothing stopping Apple from bringing Siri to Macs, other than finding a good way to implement it into OS X. I say this because Apple is notorious for waiting to release features until they’re actually ready for primetime.
OS X already has a couple of voice-activated features that Siri could expand on, the most popular being voice dictation, which allows you to speak words instead of typing them out. This feature alone is a big feature of Siri on iOS, considering that longer typing sessions on the iPhone’s small virtual keyboard aren’t ideal, which makes the speech-to-text feature in Siri really handy on the iPhone.
As for how Apple could implement Siri into OS X, it could either blend in to OS X’s dictation feature, or be added into Spotlight Search.
With OS X’s dictation feature, users press the Function key twice to bring it up, and then they can speak into the Mac’s microphone and have it translated into text, making it easier to “type” longer responses or jot down notes.
If Siri was implemented into Spotlight Search, it would simply overhaul Spotlight Search even more. It’s already a one-stop shop for searching pretty much anything on your Mac, as well as on the internet, but with Siri integrated into it, it would arguably become one of the best features of not only OS X, but any operating system.
Furthermore, Apple could implement its new “Hey, Siri” feature so that you wouldn’t even have to press a keyboard combination to activate it. You could simply yell out “Hey, Siri” and then give it a command, right on your Mac.
Of course, while Siri functionality on Mac would be cool to see, not everyone agrees that it would work well. One Mac user argues:
Indeed, bringing Siri capabilities to OS X may not be high on Apple’s priority list, and it could introduce some confusion. Apple is not one to make their products more confusing to consumers, but it’s also a company that does fairly well at finding simpler solutions for complex problems. Just look at Apple Pay: mobile payments used to be fairly confusing, or at least not many consumers understood the technology, but Apple made it simpler and easier to understand with Apple Pay.
If Siri on Mac would possibly introduce confusion for consumers, Apple would most likely find a way to make it simpler and easier to use. However, we wouldn’t expect Apple to introduce Siri in OS X until at least June when WWDC rolls around, which is usually when Apple unveils a new version of their desktop operating system. So we’ll stay tuned then and cross our fingers.