Apple currently plans to use its next major release of the Mac operating system, known as OS X 10.12, this fall to continue to expand Siri across its product lines. Last year, Apple implemented Siri as cornerstone features of both the Apple Watch and new Apple TV, and for 2016, Siri is planned to finally make its way to the Mac.
Apple had been testing versions of OS X internally with Siri integration since at least 2012, but sources now say that Apple has a clear vision for Siri on the Mac along with a polished user-interface and is nearly ready to launch the feature publicly. Apple is expected to introduce OS X 10.12 in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
Instead of integrating Siri as a swipe menu akin to the Mac’s Notification Center or as a full screen view like on the iPhone and even the iPad Pro, Siri for the Mac will live in the Mac’s Menu Bar. Similar to the Spotlight magnifying glass icon for search and notifications icon for Notification Center, a Siri icon in the top right corner of the menu bar will activate the voice control feature.
When a user clicks the Siri button, a dark, transparent Siri interface will appear in the top right corner of the screen, as shown in our mockup by Michael Steeber. This interface will feature colorful sound waves to indicate speech input. The interface design in testing is not finalized and may still change before the summer introduction, according to sources.
Siri on the Mac will have its own pane in System Preferences and users are said to also have the option to choose a keyboard shortcut for activating the service. Like with recent versions of iOS, users will be able to enable Siri at the first startup of OS X 10.12, according to sources. If the Mac running the new OS X version is plugged into power, a “Hey Siri” command will work much like with recent iPhone and iPad models.
Codenamed “Fuji,” OS X 10.12 is also planned to include minor user-interface tweaks across core system application windows, but the changes will not be as notable as those in 2014’s OS X Yosemite update. Apple is also continuing its performance-focused engineering efforts emphasized in OS X El Capitan last year. The company is also developing iOS 10 for the fall, and we’ll be posting details on that in the near future.