Siri on iPhone: Tips and Tricks for Questions, Answers, and Accessibility

Using Apple's digital (voice) assistant Siri on the iPhone can be practical in a wide variety of situations. Personally, however, I kept noticing small hurdles and problems that I had to use the iOS settings to solve. However, these individual situations would only have filled a short message and not justified a full-length blog post. That's why I've collected them and offer you a comprehensive guide for the Siri settings on the iPhone. Do you have any questions, have I neglected an aspect of the topic or do you have an insider tip? Then just leave a comment!

Set a longer waiting time for Siri on the iPhone, use the side button / the home button for inputs, type in requests instead of speaking, let Siri speak despite the iPhone being muted and other settings I explain to you here.
Set a longer waiting time for Siri on the iPhone, use the side button / the home button for inputs, type in requests instead of speaking, let Siri speak despite the iPhone being muted and other settings I explain to you here.

Adjust wait time: Siri listens too long / not long enough

Both those who are in a hurry and those who need a little longer to formulate the correct Siri request should take a look at the iOS settings as well as in the menu Accessibility. I don't know why Apple splits the Siri settings into different sections (once in the Accessibility and once in its own menu item Siri & Search), but here is the appropriate function:

  1. Opens the Settings on the Apple iPhone
  2. Pick the point Accessibility from
  3. Then tap on the menu item Crab
  4. Under Siri Pause Time, choose either Standard, Longer or The longest
  5. Alternative: Sets that the Side button (on older iPhones the Home Button) can be held down to make Siri inputs with time to think (instructions below)

Let Siri Response speak even when iPhone is on silent

By the way, in the same menu you will also find the "spoken answers" selection. Personally, I find this very important because my iPhone is almost always on mute. Whoever calls me has to hope that my MacBook is switched on, so that it at least rings. Nevertheless, I want Siri to not only show the answers to my requests on the display, but also to speak them. That's why I have below Settings -> Accessibility -> Crab under "Spoken answers" the last point Prefer spoken answers selected.

Tip: Just keep talking, don't wait for a response

If you say "Hey Siri", the Apple language assistant on the iPhone will respond after a second or two with an "Aha?", "Hm?" or a similar response. If you're in a hurry, you don't have to wait. As long as the "Hey Siri" is recognised, the subsequent voice input is also registered. So if you want to know how the weather will be, I don't have to wait for a dialogue à la "Hey Siri" -> "Hm?" -> "How is the weather today?", but can say "Hey Siri, how will the weather be?” ask.

Use the side button / home button for Siri

The side button on the right edge of the iPhone housing can be assigned various functions. In addition to the simple press, which turns the display on and off by default, you can also use the side button to end the call, for the guided access / kiosk mode and use various operating aids, which are activated by pressing three times. Holding down is reserved for Siri. If you want to be able to make Siri requests while holding down the side button, follow these steps:

  1. Opens the Settings on the Apple iPhone
  2. Tap on the point Siri & Search
  3. Turn on the option under Ask Siri Press the side button for Siri

Once activated, use the side button to type in Siri requests

If you have specified in the "Siri & Search" settings on the iPhone that Siri is called up by pressing and holding the side button, you can expand this setting. Because using the side button allows you to call up Siri without having to speak. This is useful if you can't speak, don't want to communicate aloud with Siri in public, or prefer text input and text output for other reasons. In order not only to activate Siri without speech, but also to be able to type in the request afterwards, the path leads you back to the operating aids:

  1. Opens the Settings on the Apple iPhone
  2. Pick the point Accessibility from
  3. Then tap on the menu item Crab
  4. Activated at the top Tap Siri requests
  5. If the answers are only to be output as text, select the dot under "Spoken answers". Favor silent answers from

Type Siri requests for "Hey Siri" instead of speaking

Not only when using the side button, but also after voice input "Hey Siri" you can type in your request via the display keyboard. So if the request is more complex than you thought, you want to get a complex math problem solved or you realize that you shouldn't talk to Siri so much on the train, just do the following:

  1. Say "Hey Siri" to have the Siri animation appear on the screen
  2. Tap the Siri animation and then on Tap Siri requests
  3. Then enter your request and confirm it with at the bottom right Ready

Siri setting: show / hide questions and answers on the display

Here I have to point out again that the settings for Siri on the iPhone are sometimes distributed a bit strangely. Because these options could also be found in the accessibility features – but they are not. Anyway, if you want to set your voice or text inputs as well as Siri's responses to be shown / hidden on the display, proceed as follows:

  1. Opens the Settings on the Apple iPhone
  2. Tap on the point Siri & Search
  3. Now choose Siri Answers from
  4. Enabled to show Siri responses Show Siri subtitles (or disable it to use only voice overs)
  5. Enabled to display your requests Show voice recognition (or disable it to not see your questions and commands written out)

Tip: As you can see, you can also set in the "Siri Responses" submenu whether Siri's responses should be spoken or only written. These are the same options as in the accessibility features I described earlier.

Other sources for using Siri on the Apple iPhone

Here are a few links to the Apple website and the support or guide area with further tips, tricks and instructions:

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

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