On Monday, Apple could announce changes to Siri that will be introduced in iOS 17

In most tests this author has seen, whenever Apple’s digital assistant Siri goes up against Google Assistant, the results are like the Florida Panthers going up against your kid’s Pee Wee hockey team. Google Assistant outperforms Siri when it comes to understanding queries and tasks, delivering more accurate results. Yes, that’s sad considering Apple had an edge when it introduced Siri in the iPhone 4s in 2011.

But if a tweet from Bloomberg’s top man in the Apple beat, Mark Gurman, is correct, Apple will overtake Siri ahead of Google on Monday in a key respect. Instead of using the “Hey Siri” wake-up phrase to activate Siri, in iOS 17 users just need to say “Siri” to prepare the old girl to take over your tasks, wishes and requests. To his credit, Gurman has to be credited (although we’ll have to wait until after Monday’s WWDC keynote for confirmation from Apple) to have originally mentioned this last November.

Watch the WWDC live stream from the Apple channel on YouTube this Monday

Unfortunately, Apple can’t call this a “novelty.” Although the Cortana mobile app is no longer supported by Microsoft, the company changed the activation phrase “Hey Cortana” to “Cortana” in 2018. And of course Amazon’s Alexa is activated by saying “Alexa”. The Google Assistant is invoked by saying “Hey Google” or “Ok Google”. But considering that “Google” is not only a noun but also a verb (e.g. “Google Matthew Tkachuk”), Google might not go that route. Gurman previously said that Apple had to use two words to wake Siri because it increased the likelihood of the signal being received. “The complexity is that Siri is able to understand the singular phrase ‘Siri’ in multiple different accents and dialects. Having two words — ‘Hey Siri’ — increases the likelihood that the system will get the signal right,” Gurman wrote.

Mark Gurman says Apple may announce a big change to Siri on Monday

In addition to removing the “Hey” from “Hey Siri,” Apple could announce a change to the Siri UI in iOS 17. Tipster @analyst941 said back in April that in iOS 17 the Siri UI will move down from the bottom of the screen to the dynamic island. Considering that all four iPhone 15 models are expected to feature the shape-shifting, multitasking, and notifications system, this tip might be justified. This would prevent Siri from blocking some of the bottom areas of an iPhone screen and streamline Assistant’s responses.
WWDC takes place next Monday, June 5, starting at 10am PDT/1pm EDT. You can follow the action live stream in the Apple Developer app (tap on the WWDC tab at the bottom of the screen). Or you can watch the live stream from Apple channel on YouTube. For the latter, you can tap to be notified when the keynote begins.