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Software & Web Development

Siri for Mac reportedly coming this fall, at long last

Apple put Siri, its voice-activated personal assistant, in the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, but not the Mac. I assumed the company realized that people talking to their computers would be rage-inducing to those around them, but OS X has had dictation features for a while, and Apple has actually been testing Siri on the Mac for the last four years.

The feature is almost ready to go, 9to5Mac reported on Wednesday, and will be announced at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference as part of OS X 10.12 in June. The next version of the Mac operating system is likely to get a public release this fall.

So how will Siri on the Mac work? Kind of like Spotlight search, in that a Siri icon will sit in your menu bar until you need to use it. Click it, and a transparent overlay will pop up in the top right of your screen with the same colorful waves you see on your iPhone screen, which indicates that Siri can hear you speaking. If your Mac is plugged in, you’ll be able to say “Hey, Siri” and get a response without clicking.

It’s unclear exactly why Apple waited so long to bring Siri to OS X, but according to 9to5Mac, the company may not have had a good idea of what it would be useful for (I’m still skeptical, to be honest), or what the interface should look like. Those problems have reportedly been resolved.

Why this matters: Some have been waiting for years—since Mountain Lion—for Apple to put Siri in OS X. I don’t get the appeal, but I’m open to the idea if Siri proves to be incredibly useful on the Mac.

Have you been waiting for ages for Siri to come to OS X? If so, why? Convince me in the comments.

IDG Insider

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