Apple's iPhone 6s to feature always-on 'Hey Siri' functionality, source says

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2015
Ahead of tomorrow's special event, AppleInsider has learned that Apple's iPhone 6s will boast always-on "Hey Siri" voice activation, meaning users can invoke the virtual assistant even when their device is unplugged.




Referred to as "hotwording," the upcoming iPhone 6s function will work much like Android's "OK Google" service, which enables hands-free Web searches, message composition, voice calls, control of general device functions and more, according to a reliable source familiar with the matter. Apple's Siri provides similar capabilities, but the device must be connected to a power for "Hey Siri" voice activation to work.

Functionally, the new "Hey Siri" command works in a similar fashion to its iOS 8 forebear, meaning it can be invoked from anywhere within iOS, the source said. For example, users writing an email or iMessage might use "Hey Siri" to check Calendar dates or find a nearby restaurant.

It is not currently known if Apple accomplished the feat completely in software, but current iOS 9 beta versions do not support unplugged "Hey Siri" functionality. Certain Android handsets that support the always-on "OK Google" feature use a specialized voice activation monitoring chip to wake the device from sleep without significantly impacting battery life, suggesting Apple built in compatibility on the hardware level.

The addition is not surprising considering Apple Watch's voice-activated Siri solution. Although Watch's version is not perpetually monitoring for keywords, owners of the device can invoke Siri by raising their wrist and repeating the "Hey Siri" command.

As announced in June, Siri comes greatly enhanced in iOS 9 with contextual "Siri Suggestions," proactive search services, deep searches, sports and weather integration and more. The big story is contextual processing of data to facilitate smarter operation. For example, a user reading an email might tell Siri, "Remind me about this tonight," and the virtual assistant will generate a reminder accordingly.

Apple is expected to release its next-generation iPhone models and new Apple TV hardware at a special event in San Francisco tomorrow. AppleInsider will be providing live, on-the-scene coverage from inside the venue starting at 10 a.m. Pacific.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    Great, a bunch of people in a place can have their phones activated by someone yelling "Hey, Siri!" Well, maybe movie theaters can add that before the movie starts so people will their phones still on get called out.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    I noticed in the iOS 9 beta that if you activate Siri and leave it on screen you can use hey Siri to reactive Siri without being plugged in
  • Reply 3 of 67
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member

    Siri is routinely activated when on the charger by my TV at home and Radio in the car. It doesn't happen all the time, but it happens, responding to a random combination of words that sound like "Hey Siri". I would think at a minimum raise-to-activate would be a good option to have on the phone as well, with the ability to easily access it in the control dock like Airplane mode for when a person wants that functionality.

  • Reply 4 of 67

    Having the Okay google on my android is amazing when I am driving. I can't wait for this to come to iPhones. Much safer to drive with. (I refuse to pay ~500 for an after market stereo for carplay/android auto,)

  • Reply 5 of 67
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So is this similar to the Moto X which is always listening? I wonder how that impacts battery life?
  • Reply 6 of 67
    Having the Okay google on my android is amazing when I am driving. I can't wait for this to come to iPhones. Much safer to drive with. (I refuse to pay ~500 for an after market stereo for carplay/android auto,)

    This already exists in car with Siri. Just plug it in, which I would assume the average person does because 1) it's a good time to get that power up going on anything more than 5 minutes, and 2) even using "Okay, Google" while the phone is shoved in your pocket would be a pretty bad experience.
  • Reply 7 of 67
    rogifan wrote: »
    So is this similar to the Moto X which is always listening? I wonder how that impacts battery life?

    My guess is it's been integrated into the M9 coproceessor.
  • Reply 8 of 67

    If it doesn't work with iPhone 6 and its software there will be numerous pissed off people.

  • Reply 9 of 67
    I'm running ios latest beta n siri is always on without the charger works for me already n it's always handy
  • Reply 10 of 67
    Gotta get the bugs worked out of this " hey Siri" feature as mine works half the time.
    I either have to yell out HS, or unlock my phone either with the passcode, or with my finger print scanner and then say HS.
    Love my iPhone, but Apple really needs to fix the software bugs. Hopefully iOS 9 fixes this and the battery drainage issue.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ryan2012 View Post



    I'm running ios latest beta n siri is always on without the charger works for me already n it's always handy



    I have the latest beta and you have to have it plugged in.

  • Reply 12 of 67
    ryan2012 wrote: »
    I'm running ios latest beta n siri is always on without the charger works for me already n it's always handy

    Then your beta has a problem knowing whether it's plugged in or not because "Hey, Siri" is definitely not a feature when unplugged.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Then your beta has a problem knowing whether it's plugged in or not because "Hey, Siri" is definitely not a feature when unplugged.
    i know that's how is suppose to work but it works without plugged in nyways like I said it's pretty handy when driving I hope Apple keeps it that way in GM iOS version
  • Reply 14 of 67
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Great, a bunch of people in a place can have their phones activated by someone yelling "Hey, Siri!" Well, maybe movie theaters can add that before the movie starts so people will their phones still on get called out.

    Indeed, the potential for unwanted input to be received is high. As this spreads out across iPhones, it will be interesting to see how the world reacts to it.
    Of course this kind of feature already existing on Android is no precedent for anything, as usual.
  • Reply 15 of 67
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ryan2012 View Post



    I'm running ios latest beta n siri is always on without the charger works for me already n it's always handy



    No it's NOT. I have the latest version of Beta iOS 9

  • Reply 16 of 67
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    Great, a bunch of people in a place can have their phones activated by someone yelling "Hey, Siri!" Well, maybe movie theaters can add that before the movie starts so people will their phones still on get called out.



    Even better, they just play a loud announcement that says, "Hey Siri, switch to airplane mode."

  • Reply 17 of 67
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Having the Okay google on my android is amazing when I am driving. I can't wait for this to come to iPhones. Much safer to drive with. (I refuse to pay ~500 for an after market stereo for carplay/android auto,)

    This already exists in car with Siri. Just plug it in, which I would assume the average person does because 1) it's a good time to get that power up going on anything more than 5 minutes, and 2) even using "Okay, Google" while the phone is shoved in your pocket would be a pretty bad experience.

    Moreover, the purely tactile move to press and hold the home button on the phone to activate Siri has zero impact on your driving concentration.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Great, a bunch of people in a place can have their phones activated by someone yelling "Hey, Siri!" Well, maybe movie theaters can add that before the movie starts so people will their phones still on get called out.

    Lol.. I did this to the kids playing games while plugged..
  • Reply 19 of 67
    kevinneal wrote: »
    I noticed in the iOS 9 beta that if you activate Siri and leave it on screen you can use hey Siri to reactive Siri without being plugged in

    IOS 8 also.. when you leave it on screen
  • Reply 20 of 67
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    Oh yeah. The "Her" experience.

    "Oh Siri, baby. I luv you baby" 8-)

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