siri lead

Hey Siri, Show Me 7 Things I’d Better Do, Instead of Dropping ‘Hey’

In some weeks, there is speculation that Apple will change the world. This week, we heard that Apple is planning to drop the word “Hey” from “Hey Siri.” Hardly exciting news. However, it is also said to be a formidable technical challenge that will require a lot of engineering minds and sophisticated AI training. It can take Two years.

The result will be Apple matching Alexa to Amazon because you only need one word to turn on its AI assistant — but you’ll use one less syllable. This would outperform Google by the same amount as well. Take that, world! Imagine the fractions of seconds you would save every day! Or – and hear me on that – who cares?

Instead, I would prefer that Apple combine its efforts to make Siri better and do more. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

siri settings
Lots of settings. Needs more settings.

Let people own the trigger

I’m not too excited about switching from “Hey Siri” to “Siri” for reasons that will become clear. But if we’re down the path of change, give people the option to use a custom phrase. Say “Oi Apple.” Or to make Apple kit-using Trekkies happy, “The Computer”.

Deal with wrong activations

If you say out loud that there is a ‘serious problem’ with anything and an Apple device is nearby, Siri will be activated, due to a misunderstanding of what you said. To be fair, it doesn’t wake up an error as much as it wakes up an echo. But the Echo is lonely these days as the last surviving part of the Amazon collection at home and just wants to be noticed. Poor guy.

Explore convergence problems

When I activate Siri on purpose, it wakes up on every nearby Apple device. Hence it is usefully pinned to a random one, rather than what I’m using. If I’m beating my iMac keyboard, it might… default to my Mac? Or let me say “Hey Siri, on my Mac” without my iPhone and then reply: “This is the map.”

Be better with accents

I am from the south of England, and legally required to speak in a monotonous tone. However, you might think that Siri might respond to “Play Wire’s Latest Album” in some other way than by shooting white By Charlotte Hatherley on Apple Music. Maybe Siri likes it. (song of her “Kim Wilde” he is A classic.) It would be nice if you didn’t have to speak loudly and slowly, like an obnoxious British tourist, to get Siri to understand me.

local syntax analysis

Likewise, comprehension of slang would be good. When the next train from Basingstoke to Waterloo ‘meet Siri’ for public transit directions from Basingstoke to Albury, Guildford. When I add “London” before “Waterloo,” Siri directs me to London. Only London. Specifically, for some reason, a random spot on Tooley Street, at least near a nice park. So this is something.

Demo of the original Siri, from 2009. It’s deepened into reservations and similar to existing Siri.

Do useful tasks – and in good health

I want to book a table or movie ticket. harsh. Siri presents web pages. “Hey Siri, update my apps” just opens the App Store. Asking for the best price for something lists places for sale, not the cheapest. I can create a note but not add to it. Siri is like an office assistant who points out a limited contract with a few points when you ask for something.

Help access buried settings

Business limitations are particularly frustrating for deeply buried features. Got me “Hey Siri, turn on white noise”: “Here white noise by Mogwai. ‘Hey Siri, turn on background noise’ hours by Coldplay. (To be fair, this made me laugh.) Then I realized the background named for the feature sounds. So I tried: Hey Siri, turn on background sounds. “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Yes, that’s the problem, unless I spend a lot of time using the shortcuts to compile the functions myself. However, at least that annoying introductory clip will be gone in a couple of years from the trigger phrase, right?