Siri – no usability of calls, e-mails

With the release of iOS 15, it seems that Apple made some changes to the Siri functionality, which now leads to problems with the usability of call, email and voicemail functions.

Recent change to Siri removed some key features

Blind and visually impaired people in particular like to use the functions of the voice assistant, but with iOS 15 these seem to have been removed. Several Siri commands that provide details about phone calls, voicemails, and sending emails seem to have stopped working. The following commands used to work but have recently been removed.

Here is a brief overview of the missing commands:

  • Do I have voice messages?
  • Play my voicemail messages
  • Check my call log
  • Check out my recent calls
  • Who called me
  • Send an email
  • Send an email to [Person].

Some users mentioned and documented the problem in forums such as the AppleVis forum for blind and visually impaired users of Apple products:

One of the people I am helping told me that she can no longer use Siri to send email from her iPhone 8 with iOS 14. I tried it on my iPhone SE with iOS 15.0 and Siri replied, “Sorry, I can’t help with that.” Then I got the same answer on a phone with iOS 12.

Prior to that last iOS update, when Siri was asked to play voicemail, Siri would – now Siri just says it can’t. I am trying to find a solution as my father, who is completely blind, relies heavily on this function.

My sister is blind and Siri would respond to voice commands, i.e. read my text, call Barbara, answer questions about the weather and most importantly tell my sister who called her. To this day, Siri’s answer is, “I can’t help that.” Has the system changed? Is there something on the iPhone that needs to be activated in order for Siri to help my sister know who has called her in the past?

Using any of the above commands will result in responses from Siri such as, “I can’t help with that, but you can ask me to open the phone app?”

It is still possible to have Siri read the latest voicemail message or a voicemail from a specific person, but the voice assistant does not read a list of all available voicemails. The problem also seems to have affected users with iOS 14, so it does not seem to be an iOS 15-specific problem.

Apple is already aware of the problem and will hopefully add the important voice commands again quickly.

If you want to exchange ideas on the topic, then take a look at our “Smarthome / IoT Germany Group”On Facebook. There you will find a huge community that deals with smart topics across the board!


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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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