Hey, Siri, You’re on a Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Siri is heading to the Mac.

As expected, Apple announced Monday that it is bringing its intelligent assistant technology to its Mac line of computers. Siri is coming to the Mac as part of an update to the Mac operating system the company unveiled at its annual developer conference.

Mac owners will be able to use Siri to search for information on the Web and files on their computers.

Apple first incorporated Siri into one of its devices in 2011, when the technology debuted as the featured new addition on the iPhone 4s. Since then, Apple has added the technology to its iPad line, Apple Watch and the latest version of Apple TV. Macs previously had a voice-to-text function that allowed users to write messages by just speaking to them. But they didn’t have access to Siri.

In addition to adding Siri, Apple announced that it will be changing the name of its Mac operating system from OS X to macOS. That’s a throw-back to the name of the operating system that originally underlay Apple’s computers. Apple has given the new version of macOS the name “Sierra;” the software will be available as a free download this fall.

Users who have both a Mac running “Sierra” and other Apple devices will have access to other features. They’ll be able to use an Apple Watch to unlock their computer without having to type in their password. Their Macs will just recognize them from the proximity of their watches.

IPhone and iPad owners will be able to copy text or pictures on their devices and paste them into a document on their Macs in a feature Apple is dubbing Universal Clipboard. Another potentially useful feature: Apple will mirror users’ files that are saved to their desktop in iCloud Drive, allowing them to view and access those files on other Mac computers or on their iPhones and iPads.

MacOS Sierra will also attempt to optimize users hard drives by automatically deleting obsolete data and uploading older files to iCloud.

Another feature users may enjoy: Sierra will give them the ability to watch Web videos in picture-in-picture fashion, as a small window that they can watch while using other apps.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, demonstrates a feature in the new version of the operating system underlying Apple’s Mac computers, dubbed macOS Sierra, at the company’s annual developer conference on Monday, June 13, 2016. (Troy Wolverton/Mercury News)


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  • papakurt

    Big deal. ‘New’ software so they can absorb more money.

  • David McDory

    So incredibly borrrrrring ….