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Siri responses hint at launch on Mac

The voice assistant isn't spilling any specific beans, but its replies to certain questions could be a clue to Mac support.

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"Siri, how do you know about Finder?"

screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Siri is offering answers to a couple of questions that could be tip-offs to its upcoming debut on the Mac.

Currently available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple Watch, Apple's digital voice assistant will hop onto the Mac next, according to a batch of recent rumors. Mac users would be able to trigger and talk to Siri via a menu bar button, keyboard shortcut and, in some cases, by uttering the phase "Hey Siri." Apple is expected to reveal the alleged Mac support at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

Voice assistants have been catching on, offering a hands-free and more natural way to ask questions, find information and manage our busy lives. Microsoft offers its Cortana voice assistant in Windows 10, both on the desktop and mobile devices. Expanding to the Mac would be a way for Siri to become more of a fixture and catch up with its counterpart on Windows.

One clue that Siri is destined for the Mac comes from the way it responds to a specific question. Ask Siri: "Siri, open settings in the window," and Siri answers: "It doesn't look like you have an app named Finder," as reported by news site Medium.com. The odd part here is that when Siri doesn't understand a question, it typically says it can't help or it displays a list of search results. Finder is Mac's file manager, so alluding to it would be a strange response unless Siri is headed for the Mac.

Another clue pops up when you ask Siri: "Turn on Dark Mode." In response, the voice assistant says: "Sorry, but I'm not able to change that setting," as shown by AppleInsider. Again, if Siri doesn't understand something, it either won't help you or it will display potential search results. Dark Mode is a setting on the Mac that replaces the bright colors of the menu bar, sub-menus and application dock with a dark tone.

Siri's responses come via an online Apple database, so the responses to these questions could be the company's way of getting the software ready to work on the Mac. We should find out if Mac support is in the cards when Apple's WWDC keynote kicks off at 10 a.m. PT Monday. CNET's live blog of the event will start an hour before.

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