macOS: Siri



You can set a keyboard shortcut in the Siri System Preferences. There’s also an option to activate Siri by pressing the fn key and Space at the same time. While using the Sierra preview, there isn’t a way to set a Trackpad gesture to launch Siri.

One thing that I often do with my iPhone is that I inadvertently launch Siri. This mostly happens when I am pulling my iPhone out of my pocket—my finger grabs a hold of the Home button and Siri launches. Inadvertently launching Siri isn’t as easy (for me) on the Mac, though I could see it happening with a mistyped keyboard combination. If it does happen, there’s no way to deactivate Siri except by moving your cursor to and clicking on the “close window” button on screen.

On iOS, I activate Siri by saying “Hey Siri.” Vocal activation isn’t available on the Mac version of Siri in the Sierra pre-release version, and I wonder if it will be available at all. Since I usually have my iPhone with me (and I usually take it out of my pocket when I sit at my desk), there needs to be a way to differentiate which Siri you want to use, such as a unique trigger phrase.

Using Siri on a Mac

Once you launch Siri through the Dock or menu bar icon, or by a keyboard shortcut, a Siri window appears in the upper right corner of the screen, along with the familiar two-beep Siri tone. If you don’t have an internet connection, Siri won’t work.

For upcoming events, you can take the Siri results and pin them to Notification Center.

Siri for Mac is appealing as a tool for managing files. One of the Siri demos shown at WWDC was the ability to show file based on a given criteria. It worked for me, even with my files being saved to Dropbox.

You can also use Siri to make some changes in System Preferences. Siri is suited for settings you’d adjust on a frequent basis, like changing the sound volume, or adjusting the screen brightness. I was able to turn Bluetooth on and off, but when I asked Siri to “Activate FileVault in System Preferences,” it said it couldn’t do it.

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