Apple to add Siri to Macs

Apple announced Monday that it is bringing Siri, its intelligent assistant technology, to its Mac line of computers as part of an update to the Mac operating system.

Mac owners will be able to use Siri to search for information on the Web and files on their computers.

Apple first incorporated Siri into one of its devices in 2011, when the technology debuted as the featured new addition on the iPhone 4s. Since then, Apple has added the technology to its iPad line, Apple Watch and the latest version of Apple TV. Macs previously had a voice-to-text function that allowed users to write messages by just speaking to them. But they didn't have access to Siri.

In addition to adding Siri, Apple announced that it will change the name of its Mac from OS X to macOS. That's a throwback to the name of the operating system that originally underlay Apple's computers. Apple has given the new version of macOS the name "Sierra."

Users who have both a Mac running "Sierra" and other Apple devices will have access to other features. They'll be able to use an Apple Watch to unlock their computer without having to type in their password. Their Macs will just recognize them from the proximity of their watches.

IPhone and iPad owners will be able to copy text or pictures on their devices and paste them into a document on their Macs in a feature Apple is dubbing Universal Clipboard. Another potentially useful feature: Apple will mirror users' files that are saved to their desktop in iCloud Drive, allowing them to view and access those files on other Mac computers or on their iPhones and iPads.

©2016 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
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