You may not need to greet Siri with a "Hey" to wake up Apple's assistant in the future. According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg (opens in new tab), who has a solid record reporting on unannounced iPhone features, Apple might drop the need to utter the phrase “Hey Siri,” instead turning to just "Siri," followed by the command.
The idea is to make it simpler to activate Siri, even if you're just saving yourself a syllable.
Gurman mentions that this is something that Apple has been working on for the past few months, and the change could see the light of the day next year or in 2024. It will apparently require “significant amounts of AI training and underlying engineering work” to get it to function properly, according to the report.
Using two trigger words such as “Hey Siri” increases the chances of the virtual assistant to recognize what you're saying. So, Apple will have to ensure that the smart assistant picks up different accents and dialects with the use of the single wake word.
Apple is not the first company looking to simplify the way you summon a virtual assistant. Amazon made the shift from “Hey Alexa” to just “Alexa;” in fact, users can even customize their own wake word. Microsoft also moved to just “Cortana” from “Hey Cortana” on smart speakers, before shutting down work on that assistant.
Google Assistant is also shifting away from “Hey Google” as a wake word in favor of Quick Phrases that can activate the assistant automatically for certain commands. Introduced with last year's Pixel 6, Quick Phrases get expanded for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
This feature gives Google Assistant the ability to listen for certain keywords beyond “Hey Google,” allowing you to say “Stop” or “Snooze” for alarms or “Answer,” “Decline” and even “Silence” incoming calls. Some Quick Phrases could roll out for the Nest Hub Max as well.
Apple’s shorter trigger phrase will apply to iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and even the HomePod, the Bloomberg report claims. In addition, the company could also reportedly integrate Siri into “third-party apps and services and improve its ability to understand users and take the correct course of action,” writes Gurman, adding that Siri’s improvements in the last few years have not been at par with competition.