iOS 18’s vocal shortcuts can give Siri a new name

Reddit users have discovered a new use for iOS 18’s Vocal Shortcuts, MacRumors reports. While primarily intended as an accessibility feature, Vocal Shortcuts can also be used to give Siri a new name.

That’s right: You can now call Siri anything from Jarvis to HAL 9000 to — gasp — Alexa.

Here’s how:

First, you’ll have to set up Vocal Shortcuts on your iPhone. Go to the Settings app, then Accessibility, then scroll until you find Vocal Shortcuts. Once you’re there, select “Set Up Vocal Shortcuts” and pick Siri. Then, enter the new name you’re planning on giving Siri.

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You’ll also have to teach your iPhone to recognize the new name by saying it three times. Once that’s all done, your iPhone will be able to pick up that phrase and use it as a trigger word for Siri.

Three images of an iPhone activating its Vocal Shortcuts feature.

An example of how to use iOS 18’s Vocal Shortcuts.
Credit: Mashable composite: Apple

As MacRumors notes, there are some catches to the Siri re-naming process. First, this process won’t sync to other devices, meaning devices like HomePods will still need to be Siri for the time being. Second, you’ll have to pause every time you call on Siri using the new name. Instead of saying, “Hey HAL 9000, what’s the weather like?” all at once like you can do for Siri, you’ll have to take a beat after speaking the trigger word to give Vocal Shortcuts time to activate Siri. So while the cool points of giving Siri a different name are high, the lower convenience of it may be enough to turn users off.

Don’t worry though: You can always count on a reliable “Hey Siri” to wake Siri up, even if you’ve given it a new name.

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