Hey Apple, it’s time to drop the ‘Hey’ from ‘Hey Siri’

“You don’t have to say ‘Hey Alexa,'” Jeff Gamet writes for The Mac Observer. “Cortana just dumped the ‘Hey,’ and it’s time for Apple to do the same with Siri, too.'”

“Amazon’s approach to triggering its voice platform has always made sense. You’re addressing to your Echo or other Alexa-compatible device in the same way yo do with real people,” Gamet writes. “If I want to have lunch with Bryan, for example, I’d say, ‘Bryan, let’s get lunch together.’ I don’t start the conversation with ‘Hey Bryan.'”

“Siri has become a regular part of my daily routine and isn’t just a toy. Interacting with it should feel as natural as talking to a real person,” Gamet writes. “Every time I say ‘Alexa, turn on the lights,’ it reminds me just how awkward it feels now to say, ‘Hey Siri’ instead.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously.

Saying “Hey Siri” gets old very quickly with a HomePod. You’d think Apple employees who tested HomePod would have come to that realization a long time ago, but Apple’s HomePod development process seems to be measured glacially — hello, multi-room? hello, stereo pairing? — so, don’t hold your breath.

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38 Comments

  1. But there are many tales of Alexa activating uninvited, such as someone saying “Alexa said the weather will be warm today.” At least “Hey Siri” reduces the likelyhood of that.

    1. I get it but I’ll take the trade-off. It was so annoying before, but after buying HomePod, you have to say “hey Siri,” so many times, it wears on you quickly. Just “Siri…” flows much better and I’ll take the occasional mis-activation.

      1. Good point.

        “Siri” is a stupid name. How many sentences in normal speech starts with “Alexa”? Apple could just as well have gone with calling it “Howabout”, “Maybeweshould” or something along those lines.

    2. There are multiple words that start with the sound “SIRI” such as “cereal,” “serial,” “serious,” “seriously,” “series,” “Ceres,” “serialize,” “Searing,” etc. Siri would be automatically responding to conversation unnecessarily. “Hey, Siri” does not have that problem and is a much better attention phrase when one wants to issue a command.

    1. You nailed it. ‘Hey Siri’ and ‘Alexa’ both take the same amount of time to say. Asking to reduce it to just Siri would be very difficult because then the computer would have to parse all speech and understand the context of everything being said at all times to determine if, when it hears ‘siri’, it’s not just someone saying seriously or something else along those lines. I’m comfortable with asking for Apple to get ahead of the competition, but at least understand that is what we’re asking for; not catching up.

    2. If I said to my wife: “Seriously?” Siri might think I was addressing her. “Siri” is too short. It’s the same with “Hey Google”. Google is also only 2 syllables…

      1. Unfortunately phonetically, “Siri” is a lot more common than “Google” and may trigger ‘false’ starts. Also pronounced as if you were Japanese speaker “Google” is 3 syllables to “Siri”‘s 2.

        1. “Goo-go-ru” vs “Shi-ri”..

          Also “Siri” pronounced like a Japanese native sounds the same as “Butt” in Japanese. Yet another in a long line of unfortunate naming of many other products when they enter foreign markets.

    3. Why can’t Apple make the trigger any word we want?

      I.E. programmable?

      Keep “Hey Siri” as an active default and let me program my own three syllable word like “Samantha” as an active alternate trigger.

      That would put Apple ahead of the competition.

      1. If Apple allows changing the activation phrase it will be the first to have the company owning the Voice Assistant do so. Google Assistant users on the other hand have been able to change the phrase for a couple years using one of two available free 3rd party ‘add-on’ apps for Google Assistant.

        1. Make that ‘something totally different’. Google started a roll-out allowing you to choose between “Hey Google” and “OK Google” this past December.

  2. The real improvement I want from my HomePod’s Siri is the ability to take compound commands. “Hey Siri, turn off the upstairs lights, play something I like, and set the volume to 40%”

    Do the other assistants do this?

    1. Yes!! Was just thinking about this last not. “Hey, Siri, turn off the living room, set master relax, set my ecobe to 70 degrees and enable all alarms.” It would be really nice to be able to set up routines such as “Nighttime Wind-down” so I could just say that. Also, I’d like to be able to say Hey Siri, enable all alarms between 5a and 7a”. Yes, I fight the alarm clock every morning and wake up bruised.

      1. I like this:

        Hey Siri, turn off the living room lights AND
        Siri: Done, was there something else?
        Set Master Relax AND
        Siri: Done, next?
        Set ecobee to 70 degrees
        Siri: Done

        Of course, things that you NORMALLY group together, just create a scene for them and say “Set (scene)” but when you want to combine unrelated things, having a way to let Siri know you have more coming avoids you from having to say Hey Siri repeatedly.

  3. Just using the name Alexa was an odd move. That’s a normal name. If your kid had that name it could be a real communicaiton mess in the home. Might get rid of 80% of the problem with “Hey Alexa.”

  4. Yes I might be old fashioned, but I hate the word “Hey”, especially starting a sentence with it, I appreciate “Hey” is popular in America, but it’s not very English and may work for millenials here in the UK, but not so well with middle aged people like myself, it just sounds odd saying “Hey Siri”, it feels awkward saying it. I’d like Apple to allow the user to program their own particular word to activate Siri.

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