Apple could be about to give Siri a starring role on the new iPhone.

The company may be gearing up to give the voice assistant its own button that can be easily accessed at any time, according to new leaks. That's in addition to the new powers it will get in iOS 11 – due for release at the same time as the iPhone – which were revealed earlier this summer.

With that new software, Siri will be able to learn more about people and then make that same information on all Siri-enabled devices. And it will be given new powers, including the ability to help you find things to read in Apple News or to nag you into exercising on your Apple Watch.

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But that could come alongside changes to the hardware that make it easier than before to access Siri, according to new leaks. The assistant will be built into the lock and power button that sits on the side of the phone, which will be made even bigger than it is at the moment to make it easier to press.

That's according to new leaks found by developer Guilherme Rambo, who has uncovered a range of iPhone leaks from software Apple accidentally uploaded to the internet. Asked whether there was any possibility that the lock button could become the home button, he wrote "I did find a gesture to invoke Siri by holding the lock button".

That will be required because Apple will be entirely removing the home button – previously used to access Siri – in its new phones. After making it virtual, it will get rid of it entirely in the iPhone 8 – swapping it for a button built into the home screen instead.

Apple will announce its iPhone 8 on 12 September. It's likely to go on sale about a week and a half after that.

The event will see the launch of the premium phone alongside updated versions of the iPhone 7. It's also expected to include the unveiling of a new version of the Apple TV and an Apple Watch that can connect to the internet.

Follow all the latest news on the launch of the new iPhone here.

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