The release version of iOS 9 now comes with a new feature that will help Siri recognize when a user calls out for her. When users toggle on Apple’s “Hey Siri” voice activation feature from the settings menu on an iPhone, they’re greeted with a new individualized setup process for the smartphone’s built-in voice assistant.
Through the course of the brief setup, the iPhone asks users to say various phrases over and over again, such as “Hey Siri” and “Hey Siri, it’s me.” While there’s some speculation that this could be used to train Siri to only recognize the iPhone owner’s voice, it’s more likely that for now it’s only used to improve Siri’s voice detection, according to 9to5Mac. After going through the process, iPhone users can then activate Siri just by saying the phrase “Hey Siri.”
On older iPhones, the feature works only when it’s plugged in. But with Apple’s latest smartphone, iPhone 6S, the feature is always on whether the iPhone is plugged in or not.
Siri’s latest upgrade comes as a number of companies are beefing up their voice assistant features, including Google’s “Ok Google” and Microsoft’s Cortana. On Tuesday, Chinese search giant Baidu also launched its own personal assistant, Duer, according to MSNBC.
Apple’s iOS 9 officially rolls out to existing iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners on Sept. 16. But users signed up for the company’s public beta test program can test its next update to iOS – version 9.1.
Preorders for Apple’s new smartphone begin on Saturday at 12 a.m. PDT/3 a.m. EDT. In-store sales will follow on Sept 25. Initially the iPhone 6S will launch in 12 countries and markets, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. More countries are expected to follow in the coming weeks.