At long last, it appears the Siri virtual assistant is making it to Mac desktops. MacRumors reports that sources close to Apple have shared screenshots that show Siri icons appearing both in the dock and menu bar of early versions of Mac OS X 10.12, due in the fall of this year.
9to5Mac was one of the first Apple news sites to report on the inclusion of Siri in the next version of Mac OS back in February. The site did not have any other evidence at the time beyond what its sources were telling it. Macrumors says the images come from a source that provided “reliable information about Apple’s software plans in the past.”
Apple is widely expected to unveil Mac OS X 10.12 at WWDC next month. The Siri integration is likely to be one of the main new features of the new operating system release. It’s expected to live in the menu bar unlike the full screen view used in iOS and on Apple Watch, and would listen for commands after either icon is clicked (much like pressing and holding the Home button on iOS devices). Like its mobile counterpart, desktop Siri is also expected to respond automatically to the “Hey, Siri” command.
Multiple sources indicate that Apple has had versions of Mac OS X with Siri since at least 2012, however the company lacked a clear vision for the virtual assistant on the Mac so it never made it to a public release. Apple’s decision to finally include Siri could also have something to do with Microsoft’s decision to put Cortana in Windows 10, and even more recent moves by Microsoft to make it one of the most powerful digital assistants out there.
Still unknown yet is whether desktop Siri will gain any new commands as a result of the Mac OS X integration — we’d guess it would — or will just focus on the list of commands it is already programmed to answer. Also, there’s always the remote chance it doesn’t make it in at all: Apple’s notorious for pulling out features at the last minute if they’re not up to snuff.
The WWDC is set to take place June 13-17 in San Francisco, with the keynote address scheduled for June 13.
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