iOS 7.1: Control Siri Manually

| TMO Quick Tip

Under the latest version of iOS 7, you can now control how long Siri listens to what you’re saying, which is an incredibly welcome change. Before 7.1, you’d briefly hold down on the Home button until you heard the beeps to bring Siri up…

…and then you’d start talking. The problem with this was that if you paused just slightly too long when you were speaking, Siri would assume that you were finished, leading to a lot of frustration with Apple’s voice assistant.

First of all, have no fear if you really enjoy invoking and using Siri like that—the old way still works, but we now have an additional ability. If you continue to hold the Home button down instead of releasing it after Siri comes up, your device will listen until the button’s released. This means that if you start to send a text message, for example, and need to pause in the middle to consider what you want to say, Siri won’t think you’re done and move on to the next step.

I’m pretty jazzed about this! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been trying to demonstrate Siri to someone only to be cut off in the middle of a sentence because I stopped talking for approximately a microsecond. I like new features that make me look like less of an incompetent boob, you know?


Lee Dronick

That is a good tip!

The more I use Siri the more I like it. A few days I ago I invoked her and almost immediately there was a lot of loud ambient chatter from other people, but Siri was able to isolate my voice,

Melissa Holt

Thanks, Lee! I really dig Siri. I’m always baffled by people who own iOS devices who don’t use the feature!


@Melissa Holt : “I’m always baffled by people who own iOS devices who don’t use the feature!”

Same thing happened to me a few days ago. I was talking to my colleague about iPhones, who is an iPhone 5 user. Then I said have you tried Siri. And she said “What’s that?”. After I showed her how to use it, she was so thrilled about what Siri can do!

On the one hand I am glad I was able to enlighten a fellow iPhone user on Siri, but on the other hand I am just as baffled as you are that she didn’t even know such a feature exists!

Paul Goodwin

I’m baffled by myself. I’ve had my 5s for a couple of months now and almost never remember it’s in there. 6.5 years of not having it is hard to overcome. It’s especially strange since phones were once things that did nothing unless you talked into them.

Chrys O'Chant

Siri makes frustrating and persistent mistakes that drive me crazy, e.g., when I say call Lynn, home, it says:  Call Linda Bregman?  I say, no, Lynn home.  Then it says, calling “Linda Bregman.” Or Larry, or Reynolds or whatever name is unrelated to Lynn Home.  Many other similar errors, requiring me to make name changes.  Then, it suddenly refuses to call people I call every day. It’s like it has persistent PMS.  And I feel so helpless!

Further, all these “cute” remarks it says are really annoying, like “Time?”  “6:42 way too early.  You should be in bed”  I don’t want entertainment, I just want the answer without my wisea$$ kid talking back to me.

I’d really like the option to opt out of entertaining remarks. Just be efficient.

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