Siri for OS X: Finally, or Yawn?

A report from 9 to 5 Mac says that Siri is coming to OS X, and will be announced at this year’s WWDC. Since Apple is struggling to find useful new features for its operating systems – at least features that actually work – they’ll undoubtedly make Siri the big draw for the new OS. But does it matter?

The point of Siri on a mobile device is that it allows you to (theoretically) get information without the hassle of typing on a small keyboard. On the Mac, things are very different: you probably have a browser open all the time where you can search, and typing on a keyboard is much easier. Sure, using Siri to make a phone call more quickly than doing so on your phone might be a gee-whiz feature, but it’s not that much of a time-saver

I find Siri to be mostly useless. Even on my iPhone 6s, the “Hey Siri” thing has never worked, no matter how many times I’ve trained it. Whenever I do try and ask Siri something, it usually doesn’t understand, or gets my request wrong. I do use it to set alarms (“Wake me up at 7 am tomorrow”) or reminders (“Remind me to take out the laundry in 1 hour”), but I have to check carefully to make sure my iPhone has recorded the correct information, so it takes me just as long as it would to do these things manually.

I use dictation a lot, though. I dictate emails, tweets, searches, and other texts on my iPhone and iPad. And I am a big user of dictation on the Mac as well (using Nuance’s Dragon). So I’m all in favor of voice recognition; I just haven’t found any tasks where Siri is actually useful.

I’m curious as to how much people will use Siri on the desktop. You probably won’t use it if you work in an office, but if you’re at home, or work alone, then you might. What do you think? Would Siri on the desktop be helpful? How would you leverage this tool?