How and When You Can Just Say “Siri” Mac on macOS Sonoma

We used to say “Hey Siri”, but now we just say “Siri” on our iPhones — but this is also true for macOS Sonoma if you set it up first. Here's how to do it.

Starting with macOS Sonoma, you can theoretically just say “Siri” to bring up Apple's digital assistant on your Mac, instead of “Hey Siri.” In theory, this slightly shorter call works the same as on an iPhone running iOS 17.

In practice, it's a little inferior. You won't expect a huge time saving from losing the word “Hello”, but it will mean that asking your Mac to do something will feel more natural.

If you could make your Mac's Siri respond instead of your other devices.

Apple has amazing algorithms that determine that if you say “Hey Siri” right after you turn your wrist to look at your Apple Watch, then you are talking to your watch. Or in a room full of Apple devices, the moment you say the word “Siri,” they all quickly talk to each other to figure out which one you used last time and are likely to want again.

But no matter how smart these algorithms are, the reality is that even if you turn off your iPhone completely before saying the word “Siri,” it could be someone else's iPhone that will respond before your Mac.

However, if you work alone with all other devices turned off, the Mac may now only respond to the word “Siri” — if four things are true.

  1. This is an Apple Silicon Mac
  2. It has a microphone (internal, external, or in the Apple Studio Display)
  3. You specifically turned on “Listen to the Siri command” ” or “Hey Siri.”
  4. You have an Internet connection.

This microphone can be external, so just connect it to your Mac mini, your Mac Studio or Mac Pro will work fine.

To enable spoken Siri, usually just follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap Siri and Spotlight
  3. Make sure Ask Siri is turned on
  4. Select one of the Listen options

In the same section, you should also enable Allow Siri when blocked, but for Mac it's more of a convenience than a necessity. This is important on an iPhone, but if you're on your Mac, the Mac will still unlock.

The choice you make in the Listen section is decisive. In macOS Sonoma, you can now choose from Siri or Hey Siri, Hey Siri or Off.

Theoretical improvements to Siri

Once you get used to saying “Siri” instead “Hey Siri” is strange how much more natural it feels on your iPhone. It sounds better on a Mac, but the key question of whether macOS will listen before your iPhone has not improved.

Additionally, Siri on the Mac requires you to stop what you're doing. Whether you say a command out loud or press a keyboard shortcut first, it's impossible to continue writing a document while simultaneously asking Siri to find a fact for you.

This alone makes Siri significantly less useful on the Mac. It's functionally the same on the iPhone – you pause what you're doing to tell Siri something – but on the Mac you could type the instruction before Siri even contacts

Skip even saying “Siri”

Apple did this so you need one less word to call Siri, but you can go ahead and ignore the entire verbal calling process. Instead, you can press a keyboard shortcut to bring up Siri.

It's not as good as a completely natural conversation with your Mac, but it also solves the question of which device you want to talk to. While your fingers are pressing that key on a Mac, Siri doesn't assume you're talking about your iPhone.

You can set this shortcut to one of several options, but by default you must hold down Command and Space at the same time for a few seconds. until the Siri icon appears.

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