Apple Studio Display information: “Hey Siri” for connected Mac, more

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After several rumors, Apple’s new Studio Display is finally here with a 27-inch 5K panel, built-in camera and microphones, and more. 9to5Mac released some info on Studio Display right after the event, and now we have more details to share on how it enables “Hey Siri” for the connected Mac and how the firmware is handled by the A13 Bionic chip.

Hi Siri

Studio Display comes with three built-in microphones, which can be used for audio calls. However, Apple also uses these microphones to identify the “Hey Siri” voice command, which instantly triggers the company’s virtual assistant.

“Hi Siri” has been available on Macs for a while, but some models were never supported, such as the Mac mini and Mac Pro. Based on code seen by 9to5MacStudio Display enables the “Hey Siri” command for any Mac connected to it.

If you’re not using a Studio display, “Hey Siri” requires a 2018 or later MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, a 2020 or later iMac, or an iMac Pro.

A13 chip

As 9to5Mac First revealed last year, Studio Display comes with an A13 Bionic chip inside (the same one used by the iPhone 11 line). Although the chip is primarily used to process images from the built-in camera, which enables features like Center Stage, it runs iOS-based firmware.

Accordingly, Apple may provide software updates for Studio Display. macOS will notify users when an update is available, and the system is capable of updating multiple monitors at once – if they have two or more displays connected to the same Mac.

A system message says “The screen may turn off for a few minutes during this firmware update”. Disconnecting from Studio Display during the update process can cause issues. If this happens, macOS may instruct the user to “contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider”.

Another system message states that Studio Display requires a software update to work with some Macs. In this case, the user must disconnect and reconnect the display, then “install software update when prompted”.

center stage

Center Stage is a feature that uses machine learning combined with an ultra-wide camera to always center the image on a person during a video call or video recording. Previously only available on select iPad models, Center Stage is now available on Mac for the first time thanks to Studio Display and its built-in 12-megapixel camera.

When users first plug a Studio Display into a Mac, they see an onboarding screen that explains how the feature works and whether they want to keep it enabled or not.

Bonus: it crashes

Since Studio Display is based on an A13 Bionic chip with its own advanced firmware, it now suffers from the same issues as an iOS device. In other words, it may crash unexpectedly – and you’ll see a message explaining that the display was restarted due to a problem.

The new Studio Display will go on sale March 18 with prices starting at $1599.

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