It is been 3 years since Apple launched Siri. That is a personal assistant you cannot find on Android. It was not that popular at the start but many users tried it and made it work. Well, this is Apple. As with anything else from Apple their core fans would rather change their own personalities and adjust than quit on a new Cupertino gimmick. For the rest of us there are things that are quite annoying or somewhat dysfunctional, so if Siri is not working on your iPhone – there are some tricks to easily fix it:
To begin with, Siri may not work at all, even if you got the current iOS version. Siri is available on the iPhone 4s and later, on the iPad 3 and 4, and all iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad mini models, also the 5th- and 6th-gen iPod touch models. Plus the Apple Watch and 4th-gen Apple TV. The older hardware simply does not support Siri. So, yes, guys, you will have to break up with gadgets developed and produced under Steve Jobs’s supervision. There are other voice control apps on the App Store if you stay with older hardware. It is just not Siri.
Power cable matters as well. Not all of these devices support unplugged Siri functionality. With some devices, you have to be plugged into a power source, such as the AC adapter or your computer’s USB port, in order to activate Hey Siri.
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If you are using devices, such as an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, or another unlisted iOS device, then you might need to be connected to a power source. Or at least you had to be when the sales started. This issue to the fact that Siri has high demands on battery and only the latest iOS devices are efficient enough to run the feature in the background without draining the battery.
When iOS 9 was released in September 2016 Siri did not always function on older phones updated to this version. The smartest thing to do with iOS updates is to wait a few weeks and give Apple time to debug the update. Still, Siri might not work anyway. Weirdly, this is when diversity helps. Siri can be switched into 3 main English dialects. That is the US, UK, and Australian. This is also when you can be sexist and choose your assistant’s gender as well, male or female. And switching between all three dialects and 2 genders gives you six chances to make the app work. So far we see that British female works really nice.
Speaking of hardware. Siri does need your internet switched on, so your 3G, 4G, LTE or Wi-Fi have to be ON and operational. If you are outside service area you will have to use other voice control features until you get out of jungles. Apple does not offer any other way around this internet dependence.
Sometimes you speak on your phone very loudly but your friend cannot hear you on the other end anyway. We have heard that Siri can have a hearing problem as well. If you ever used Skype (a thing on PC), you know the soundcheck feature. Similarly, on the Siri interface, you can see the soundwave graphic and “What can I help you with?” line. If the soundwave is not rolling, Siri cannot hear you. It can be caused by some obstruction of the microphone on the phone.
a) your fancy phone case covers the microphone shut. Try taking the case or cover off. Speak up. Does Siri hear you now?
b) something got stuck in the microphone aperture. On iPhone that would be on the bottom edge. iPad has it located on the righthand edge. Examine the surface. Have a look if there is something covering the slits. If you use fingernails or hard objects to pick it out you can wedge the garbage stuck for good. Blow at the detritus gently or use a can of compressed air. Be careful not to blow it deeper inside and aggravate the situation.
- Switch Siri on.
- Switch Siri off.
- Reboot it.
It is nice when simple tricks work.
In fact, when Siri is on, other people nearby can trigger it with “Hey, Siri” magic words. That can be a problem. You probably need your personal assistant to work only for you. There is a way to attune the feature to your voice only. This is when you discover that Siri has a setup process. Go to Settings → General → Siri and tap the slider next to “Allow “Hey Siri” so it goes white, then tap once more so it goes green again.
The interface tells you to say “Hey, Siri” 3 (three) times, then some more advanced phrases. This should get Siri used to your voice and intonations. Just like your pet.
Turn off the screen and check if “Hey Siri” works, but you should be alright.
As we mentioned before internet availability is crucial. When the network connection is acting out reboot it.
a) If rebooting does not work there is such a thing as resetting. Go to Settings → General.
Tap on Reset→Reset Network Settings→ Enters your Passcode. Tap on Reset Network Settings to confirm.
This action will make you lose your saved Wi-Fi spots. You will have to set the connections all over again but this technique helps a lot and fast.
b) Update iOS to Latest Version.
This is way more time consuming and also consumes phone memory. On the plus side, it can solve more than one software problem. Theoretically, glitches of your old iOS should go way.
Go to Settings → General→ Software Update. Download and install the update if available.
c) Dictation feature
It is a bit of a surprise that this feature can bring trouble. There is a fast fix for it though. Reboot this feature alone. To do that tap on Settings → General and choose Keyboards.
After you switch it off give it some time and switch it back on. Check Siri.
d) There are some settings you cannot quite put your finger on. Sometimes neither Siri nor dictation work. Maybe on the factory, they have set the default input for Siri and dictation as “headset”. So both Siri and dictation work if you plug in your iPhone earbuds. Obviously, in this case, you need to be sure that the buds work.
e) We see that sometimes you have to do a full-size chain of reboots and switches. The longest sequence we have come up with is like this:
Switch Siri to the American female voice, turn Siri off, turn Siri back on and reboot. And you would probably need to start with switching to UK English first.
f) Some users experience Siri going off when Lower Power Mode is on. Lower Power Mode deems Siri way too energy-consuming and shuts it down. You would have to turn off Lower Power Mode before activating Siri.
First experiences can be tough. Like tying your shoelaces for the first time. If you did not like Siri in 2013 that is no reason to discard it in 2016.
Sometimes Siri does not pass the reality check. We have heard of people sent by the app to hospitals that were already closed. Obviously, in life-threatening situations, 911 is more reliable. It is better to start using Siri in your hometown. You will detect mistakes right away. It will also make you feel like smartypants because you are literally more knowledgeable than Apple’s own AI.
And it would help if your hometown is a big city. You cannot ask an app to know small towns better than the townies.
Same with other sound-related features of any device you cannot ask too much in a noisy place. If you can call somebody in a bar and have a conversation, Siri should be able to hear from you as well.
Personal assistants are supposed to be reliable. Say, you ask Siri to set or schedule an event, just an alarm clock. But then you would confirm “manually” that it is set. Well, if it works 3 times back to back it should be alright after that, don’t you think?
Before building trust you can have some fun asking funny questions, like “How many times can UK exit EU?”, “What is Donald Trump?’ and so on.
Some people are still embarrassed to be seen talking to a phone. You can use Siri with a Bluetooth hands-free kit. It would be impolite to talk to Siri in a place where you would not dare to start shooting selfies. And you can put it on mute as well. Go to Settings → General → Siri → Voice Feedback and choose Hands-free Only.
We sincerely hope that you will never face half of those bugs. See you when iOS 10 comes out.
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