Siri may wend her way to the Mac this year

Apple's voice assistant should pop up on the next version of OS X, according to a report.

Hey, Siri. Will you be coming to the Mac this year?

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Mac users may finally have a chance to chat with Siri, later this year.

The voice assistant, which currently resides on iPhones, iPads, the Apple Watch and the Apple TV, will make the leap to the Mac with the next version of OS X, sources told 9to5Mac. Apple has reportedly been testing versions of OS X with Siri since 2012, but the sources say the company is almost ready to roll out the feature.

Siri would make its debut in OS X version 10.12, which Apple will likely demo at its next annual Worldwide Developers Conference, sometime in June. The feature could become available to Mac users when a public beta of OS X 10.12 is released after WWDC and then make its official debut when the new version of OS X comes out in the fall.

Voice assistants have become a standard feature for smartphones, computers, cars and other devices as a way for people to find information and perform certain tasks. Siri has been popping up in more places over the years, jumping from Apple's mobile devices to the Apple TV and Apple's CarPlay. But Siri faces increased competition from rivals such as Google Now on mobile devices, Microsoft's Cortana on Windows 10 smartphones and PCs, and Amazon's Alexa in your living room.

On the Mac, Siri will reside as an icon in the Mac's Menu bar at the top of the screen. Clicking the icon will activate Siri, bringing up a small window with sound waves to indicate she's ready for your command, according to the sources. A mock-up created by 9to5Mac shows the sound waves panel in the upper right corner of the screen with Siri asking, "What can I help you with?"

But there's potentially more.

If your Mac is plugged into a power source, you should be able to utter the magic words "Hey, Siri" to turn on the feature, just as you can with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and earlier iPhones. Apple changed the requirements with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus so you can activate Siri without your phone having to be plugged in. You'll also be able to create a keyboard shortcut to activate Siri, according to the sources.

Assuming all this information is correct, Apple will catch up with Microsoft in the way users can control their computers. Microsoft's Cortana assistant began life as a feature on Windows Phone handsets but then expanded to Windows 10 PCs, where you can ask questions, find information and run specific tasks.

But voice assistants are also growing beyond the world of computers. Equipped with the virtual assistant Alexa, Amazon's Echo device can sit in your living room or another area of your home, where you can ask it questions, get the latest news and other information, and even control supported home appliances.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

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