The “Hey Siri” trigger phrase for Apple’s virtual assistant could go away soon, replaced with a shorter version. And the change might be announced at WWDC23 next week.

Being able to activate Siri by simply saying “Siri” near an iPhone, HomePod, etc., could make activating Apple’s virtual assistant easier.

Striving to simplify Siri

Say “Hey Siri” to a HomePod or iPhone, then ask it for the weather or a sports score, and the voice system will respond, though its capabilities are limited compared to ChatGPT. But Apple is working to improve the system.

One of those ways is by reducing the length of the trigger phrase, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. He took to Twitter to say, “One item I haven’t mentioned in a while has been a major project to drop the ‘Hey’ from ‘Hey Siri.’ I’d look out for that possibility next week.”

If this unconfirmed report is correct, the change is not easy to implement. While simply having the Apple device listen for a shorter trigger phrase might seem trivial, having the voice-activation system correctly pick “Siri” out of the streams of words it hears without false positives is challenging.

More syllables makes the job easier. That’s why “Hey Siri” has three syllables, as do the wake phrases for the two top rival systems: “Alexa” and “Hey Google.”

But it seems it’ll soon be a bit easier to talk to Siri. Now, if Apple can only make communicating with the virtual assistant more useful.

This is not the first time Gurman leaked this change. The first time, back in November 2022, he said, Apple “will integrate the voice assistant deeper into third-party apps and services and improve its ability to understand users and take the correct course of action.”

These changes may be among the many set to be announced Monday, June 5, during the WWDC23 keynote. Apple is widely expected to unveil iOS 17, macOS 14, a 15-inch MacBook Air, a VR/AR headset and much more.


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