“Hey, Siri”

Siri comes to the Mac – now you’re talk­ing!

Mac Format - - MAC OS SIERRA -

Hav­ing been a cor­ner­stone of the iOS ex­pe­ri­ence for sev­eral years, Ap­ple’s vir­tual as­sis­tant Siri is now baked into macOS. As long as you have a way to talk to your Mac (us­ing a built-in or ex­ter­nal mic), you can give it com­mands, such as to dis­play weather re­ports, lo­cate doc­u­ments, or add events to Cal­en­dar.

On macOS, Siri lives in the Dock and the menu bar and is trig­gered with a click, or you can ac­ti­vate it by hold­ing ç+[ space­bar] for a mo­ment. That’s the same combo that opens Spot­light when pressed and re­leased quickly, so Siri’s Sys­tem Pref­er­ences pane of­fers a cou­ple of al­ter­na­tive short­cuts that you can sim­ply press in or­der to avoid con­fu­sion, or you can de­fine your own short­cut. How­ever, make sure it doesn’t clash with one you use else­where.

Bark­ing “Hey, Siri!” at your Mac is ab­sent, but there is a work­around. First, this re­quires you to be us­ing a nor­mal short­cut – one you press for an in­stant re­sponse, rather than hold down – so make that change first. Next, turn on Dic­ta­tion in Key­board prefs, and Use En­hanced Dic­ta­tion (which may re­quire a down­load).

By your com­mand

Open the Ac­ces­si­bil­ity pane, se­lect Dic­ta­tion on the left, en­able the use of a dic­ta­tion key­word phrase, and use “Hey” for said phrase. Next, click Dic­ta­tion Com­mands, turn on ‘En­able ad­vanced com­mands’, and click + to cre­ate a new one. In the top field, type ‘Siri’ (with­out quotes). In the Per­form pop-up menu, choose Press Key­board Short­cut, then press the Siri short­cut you set ear­lier, and fi­nally click Done.

The Dic­ta­tion icon will ap­pear in the menu bar, and you can now say “Hey, Siri” to ac­ti­vate the fea­ture, rather than hav­ing to press keys like some kind of tech cave­man.

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