It seems Apple is firmly team “hay is for horses” because it’s pulling the “hey” from Siri‘s wake-up command.
According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Apple has been working on this improvement to its AI voice assistant for several months and plans to roll out the change either next year or the following year. You may be wondering why dropping a little word would take so long to implement. Well, that’s because removing half of the trigger phrase makes it harder for Siri to accurately pick up and respond to requests, especially in multiple accents and dialects.
“Having two words—“Hey Siri”—increases the likelihood of the system properly picking up the signal,” Gurman explained.
Calling upon Siri without the “hey” part of the command would make the voice assistant, which is supported on iPhones, iPads, AirPods, Apple Watch, Beats, HomePods, and Macs, function more like Amazon’s Alexa, which requires no such prompt. And Apple may not be alone in making this change, too. Google is reportedly working on removing the need to repeat “hey Google” or “okay Google,” its signature voice assistant trigger phrase, in follow-up requests, according to Gurman.
This is just the latest in a string of quality of life tweaks Apple’s been making to Siri. Last year, Apple added a more gender neutral voice option in iOS 15.4 and also redesigned Siri’s interface for Apple TV’s 16.1 operating system update.
Now if only Apple could make Siri worth calling in the first place.