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Apple planning major changes to Siri, but not everyone will be happy

Apple is reportedly planning to simplify the means of accessing the Siri voice assistant. The ‘Hey Siri’ wake phrase may be in line to become just ‘Siri’.

The word comes from the ever-reliable Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman. The Apple expert says change is afoot, but it certainly won’t happen overnight.

In his most recent Power On newsletter, Gurman says the change may happen in 2023 or 2024 because the switch will require “a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work.”

The report also said challenges are centred around how much more difficult it is for the voice assistant to pick up a single word, without the ‘hey’ in front of it. The current system relies on that additional word to help decipher accents and dialects.

However, Gurman claims Apple has been working on the change for months with the proposed single word wake option currently being tested among employees. The change would make Siri a little bit more like Amazon’s Alexa and also help speed up interactions, including those back-to-back requests.

However, with the removal of the ‘Hey’ wake word, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, HomePod and Apple TV owners will summon the assistant mistakenly more often, because the buffer of the combination won’t be there. Echo users will be familiar with their assistant piping-up whenever the word Alexa is spoken in conversation, or is heard on television. We’ll have to see how Apple mitigates that if the reported plans come to fruition.

The changes won’t end there, Gurman says. While Apple recently changed the user interface on Apple TV within the tvOS 16.1 release, the company is also considering opening Siri up to more third-party apps.

Gurman writes: “Apple has also been engineering further changes. It will integrate the voice assistant deeper into third-party apps and services and improve its ability to understand users and take the correct course of action.”

What changes would you like to see Apple make to Siri? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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