Rumor: Apple will finally bring Siri to Mac with this year's OS X 10.12

Posted:
in macOS edited February 2016
Having debuted on the Apple Watch and Apple TV last year, Siri will finally make its way to Apple's Mac OS X operating system with a new update this fall, according to a new report.

Siri gif
Siri for Mac mockup by Uplabs.


Citing unnamed sources, 9to5mac reported on Wednesday that OS X 10.12 will feature a Siri button in the Mac's menu bar. Clicking on it will bring up a prompt in the upper right corner of the screen, allowing a user to speak a command to their Mac.

In addition, always-listening "Hey Siri" support is also said to be available if the Mac is plugged into a power outlet.

If Apple sticks to its usual release schedules, OS X 10.12 should debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference this June, ahead of a free release this fall on the Mac App Store.

The site also attributed "reliable sources" back in 2012, when it reported that "early builds" of OS X Mavericks 10.9 featured support for Siri voice commands. However, those claims never panned out, and OS X remains Apple's last major platform without its voice-driven personal assistant. The same report did, however, correctly reveal that Apple Maps would debut in Mavericks.

Siri first debuted in 2011 on the iPhone 4s, and is now an integral part of all iOS devices, including iPads. Siri expanded beyond iOS last year when it debuted on the Apple Watch, as well as the new fourth-generation Apple TV powered by tvOS.

Though it can't accomplish complex commands via voice, OS X has had support for dictation since the release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in 2012. The feature allows users to convert speech to text within virtually any application on their Mac.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    croprcropr Posts: 760member
    Better late than never
    brian green
  • Reply 2 of 24
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Great! Now bring Siri to AppleTV ;)
    brian green
  • Reply 3 of 24
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,710member
    The feature allows users to convert speech to text within virtually any application on their Mac.

    OS X also has voice commands via the Accessibility preferences. And you can even add your own.

    coolfactorbrian green
  • Reply 4 of 24
    cali said:
    Great! Now bring Siri to AppleTV ;)

    Sarcasm? I'm looking forward to buying the new AppleTV in a couple of weeks. :) 
  • Reply 5 of 24

    mjtomlin said:
    The feature allows users to convert speech to text within virtually any application on their Mac.

    OS X also has voice commands via the Accessibility preferences. And you can even add your own.


    Yup, OS X (and Mac OS before it) has had "Speakable Items" since the 90s. I'm surprised it's taken Apple this long to really advance the feature on the Mac. Guess they really wanted it "just right" and wanted to make sure that they could meet demand on their servers. Although I do hope the Mac can do its own pre-processing to avoid such a dependency on the internet connection.
    brian green
  • Reply 6 of 24
    Does this mean we're going to see some big Siri improvements announced at WWDC?
    brian greenpatchythepirate
  • Reply 7 of 24
    cali said:
    Great! Now bring Siri to AppleTV ;)
    You know if that happens, Siri is gonna bitch about the amount of Basketball you wanna watch.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,541member
    OS X 10.12 will feature a Siri button in the Mac's menu bar. Clicking on it will bring up a prompt in the upper right corner of the screen, allowing a user to speak a command to their Mac.

    Hopefully future keyboards will feature a Siri button, or at least a shortcut. Grabbing the mouse and navigating to the menu stakes me a clunky.
    brian green
  • Reply 9 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,182member
    paxman said:
    OS X 10.12 will feature a Siri button in the Mac's menu bar. Clicking on it will bring up a prompt in the upper right corner of the screen, allowing a user to speak a command to their Mac.

    Hopefully future keyboards will feature a Siri button, or at least a shortcut. Grabbing the mouse and navigating to the menu stakes me a clunky.

    Don't be silly, you talk to the mouse!


    edited February 2016
  • Reply 10 of 24
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,957member
    I think there is more here than meets the eye. I see two issues with Siri:

    The first is that I feel awkward talking to a computer, As I type this, I think the words, and my fingers make the text appear. I then read it, and rethink my thoughts. Not so with Siri - I have to think what to say, then say it, and the cognitive process is very different. It just always feels awkward. With my Apple Watch, Siri is on my wrist all the time, but that interface is silent, and more often than not, there is a huge delay in response, and then she tells me (after 10 seconds of staring at my wrist) to go look at my iPhone. Yuck.

    The second issue is perhaps a little easier: Siri isn't very smart. Maybe better now, but even when I get past the issue above, she is basically unreliable. Maybe this gets better with time (like I got better at typing.) 

    But...if Siri is in my household and displays visually and audibly though my mac and apple TV...maybe we're on to something. It seems like maybe the Amazon Echo/Alexis is a bit further ahead here.

    TL;DR: I'm a visual person, and Siri's unreliability and lack of speed is frustrating. YMMV etc etc
  • Reply 11 of 24

    mjtomlin said:

    OS X also has voice commands via the Accessibility preferences. And you can even add your own.


    Yup, OS X (and Mac OS before it) has had "Speakable Items" since the 90s. I'm surprised it's taken Apple this long to really advance the feature on the Mac. Guess they really wanted it "just right" and wanted to make sure that they could meet demand on their servers. Although I do hope the Mac can do its own pre-processing to avoid such a dependency on the internet connection.
    I second that thought.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    IMO, Siri has no chance at being faster/more convenient than keyboard + mouse input. It just doesn't make any sense. And if you use the speed/reliability of Siri in its current form as benchmark for what to expect, I can't see myself ever using it on a Mac.

    Conversely it makes perfect sense on AppleTV, and is occasionally useful on iOS, especially in handsfree/eyesfree scenarios.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    eightzero said:
    [...] Siri's unreliability

    She's finicky, isn't she?

    Last night I asked Siri to play some music. She replied she was having trouble accessing my music. I asked her to play Kodachrome. She responded with Kodak's web site. I asked her to play Kodachrome by Paul Simon. She said "I don't understand what you mean." I cycled power and tried again. Same results.

    About an hour later I tried again and it worked. I wish I knew what changed so I would know how to remedy it if it happens again. My guess is it was a server problem, not a "my end" problem.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Siri or not, I'm hoping to read a rumour that points toward a new and improved line of Macs. 
  • Reply 15 of 24
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,574member
    pmz said:
    ...especially in handsfree/eyesfree scenarios.
    Don't you love it when you ask her a question while driving and she replies "This is what I found on the Internet"?
  • Reply 16 of 24
    eightzero said:
    [...] Siri's unreliability

    She's finicky, isn't she?

    Last night I asked Siri to play some music. She replied she was having trouble accessing my music. I asked her to play Kodachrome. She responded with Kodak's web site. I asked her to play Kodachrome by Paul Simon. She said "I don't understand what you mean." I cycled power and tried again. Same results.

    About an hour later I tried again and it worked. I wish I knew what changed so I would know how to remedy it if it happens again. My guess is it was a server problem, not a "my end" problem.
    Maybe the interns at Apple that listen to the anonymized Siri requests entered yours into the system, so it worked when you tried it later.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    pmz said:
    IMO, Siri has no chance at being faster/more convenient than keyboard + mouse input. It just doesn't make any sense. And if you use the speed/reliability of Siri in its current form as benchmark for what to expect, I can't see myself ever using it on a Mac.
    I have to respectfully disagree. Imagine a category of tasks that can be explained in a simple sentence, but take multiple actions in a UI — that’s where Siri excels.

    “Siri, remind me to pick up the laundry at 6pm"
    vs
    Load Reminders; click new item; type "pick up the laundry"; set the reminder for 6pm.

    I’m no "Siri power user", but I use it for stuff like this all the time, and during work hours my phone is frequently buried in a bag or off in another room somewhere.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,386member

    mjtomlin said:
    The feature allows users to convert speech to text within virtually any application on their Mac.

    OS X also has voice commands via the Accessibility preferences. And you can even add your own.


    Yup, OS X (and Mac OS before it) has had "Speakable Items" since the 90s. I'm surprised it's taken Apple this long to really advance the feature on the Mac. Guess they really wanted it "just right" and wanted to make sure that they could meet demand on their servers. Although I do hope the Mac can do its own pre-processing to avoid such a dependency on the internet connection.
    Im really hoping that Siri on the Mac can be useful without making any trips to Apples servers. The right way to evolve an operating system is to out AI right into the core of the operating system. In such a system Siri would only go off board so to speak for data and knowledge that can't be kept locally. This is the only way to get the type of latency that would leave users with a good feeling. So I hoping that Siri on the Mac amounts to the birth of an AI engine within the operating system itself. This would be more than just preprocessing data.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,386member
    Does this mean we're going to see some big Siri improvements announced at WWDC?
    Honestly I doubt it, at least not big in the way many would want. Siri has been evolving since its introduction and frankly at times regressing. I'd be happy anyways if Apple just would announce a Mac OS update focused on stability and performance increases. As good as the current release is it still leaves aa lot to be desired in those two realms.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,574member
    wizard69 said:

    Im really hoping that Siri on the Mac can be useful without making any trips to Apples servers. The right way to evolve an operating system is to out AI right into the core of the operating system. 
    I would agree in perhaps some other situations but if Siri is going to be on all Apple devices, she needs to work from the same code base, feature set and functionality. To have it work locally they would need to reinvent the wheel and for that reason I doubt that is ever going to happen. Regardless of whether or not the digitized audio could be processed locally she would still need to go to the server to get the response. She needs to hit the server for everything even for setting a calendar or reminder using iCloud sync, so you might as well do it all on the server where you have unlimited cpu power and storage.

    Also doing the work on the server allows them to continuously tweak the data set and the audio processing, daily/hourly, without updating any devices. Furthermore, networks are only going to get faster to the point where you eventually approach the speed of accessing the data locally and who isn't connected to the internet these days? I think they are taking the right approach for the future.
    edited February 2016
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