OS X Mavericks: How to control your Mac with your voice

“While it doesn’t offer Siri (yet) you can already control your Mac using speech – you can even add more spoken word commands using Automator,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“Enabling speech control in OS X Mavericks is easy. Apple offers this in System Preferences>Accessibility>Speakable Items,” Evans writes. “In Speakable Items in the Settings pane set Speakable Items to On, and calibrate your microphone. By default, Speakable Items requires you press a key (usually Esc) to make your Mac listen, but tick the ‘Listen continuously with keyword‘ button to make your Mac do just that. You’ll be asked to name the word and say how often it is required. For my keyword I used ‘Mac,’ but Macworld’s Lex Friedman uses ‘Siri.'”

Evans writes, “Your Mac is now continuously listening for your commands.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: We’ve been using voice to control our Macs (in private offices) since the mid-1990s. How ’bout you?


  1. I used speech recognition with my first computer(TRS-80), in 1979 !
    BUT, the important thing was, you could use it, WITH BASIC.
    I wrote a card game that drew cards on the screen, as you played.
    It was a 21 game, and you could say “hit me” “give me another card” I’ll stay” AND it was EASY to program, with the BASIC that CAME WITH THE COMPUTER!
    It could also be programmed in BASIC to respond to “turn on the lights” Dim the lights” “turn on the tv’, and control ANY AC device.
    Can you do that TODAY? With a BUILT-IN BASIC?
    Programming should NOT, NOT, NOT be hard to do!
    I also programmed an EYE tracking camera, that worked BETTER THAN a mouse, in 1980 !
    Both Microsoft, AND Apple, have FAILED to include an EASY to use programming ability, which USED TO come FREE, with EVERY computer.
    Not a fan of OOPs.

    Steve Jobs said in Triumph of the Nerds / The last interview:
    I think everyone should learn to program…

    RIGHT !!! And you DON’T have to drown in
    Enumerated data types
    Type Modifiers: const, volatile and restrict

    You JUST write code like……
    Print C

    Above, is a BASIC program.
    Wanna guess, what this program would do?
    What would it print on the screen?
    That’s the way people(LOT”s OF PEOPLE) could program
    But Apple AND Microsoft, have removed BASIC.

  2. cw You should try python. It is built-in and the BASIC program you have shown in all-lowercase would work. Just open a Terminal window and type python. You’ll be reminded of the TRS-80’s command line “READY” prompt.

  3. inf0stud:
    Looked into Python, RealBasic(they changed there name.), and am looking into PureBasic.
    II’ve never been able to tell if Python comes WITH graphics ready-to-go, included. Every book on Python, says nothing about graphics, but it DOES look a lot like BASIC.
    I can program in C, but never can find any book that covers C, AND graphics for mac.
    Window 1, 0,0-1920,1080 (BASIC program line)
    This ONE line makes a 1920*1080 window you can draw
    plot individual dots
    I know that to program in C with graphics, would take more code, but can’t find anything.
    Looks like pureBasic would be the thing closest to BASIC.
    BUT they are located in FRANCE !

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