New Siri changes remove voice commands, especially useful for low visibility and blind people

iPhone users with low visibility and blindness are complaining that the new Siri changes have removed voice commands useful for them to access their voicemail, calls history, emails, and more. This is not an iOS 15 related issue because users on iOS 14 are also facing the same problem.

Apple Siri

Siri can no longer fulfill “play my voicemail messages” and other commands

When Siri is asked to carry the following commands, the voice assistant replies that it is unable to help, “I can’t help with that, but you can ask me to open the Phone app.”

  • Play my voicemail messages
  • Do I have any voicemails?
  • Who called me?
  • Check my call history
  • Check my recent calls
  • Send an email to [*name contact]
  • Send an email

Siri is for all iPhone users but certain capabilities are imperative for accessibility which enable users with visual and hearing impairments to use their iPhones to carry out everyday tasks. Therefore, the removal of the voice commands to access their voicemails and more is affecting users with low visibility and blindness, the most.


A user @Brian Negus shared his experience on AppleVis that Siri does not respond to certain voice commands on iPhones running on iOS 15 and iOS 14.

One of the people whom I support told me that she could no longer use Siri to send email from her iPhone 8 with iOS 14. I tried on my iPhone SE with iOS 15.0 and the response from Siri was “sorry, I can’t help with that’. Subsequently, I’ve had the same response on a phone running iOS 12. If this is a deliberate feature removal, it’s certainly a loss to some users with sight loss who find it a convenient way to send a brief email. I know there was a serious bug when long emails were built up in Siri by adding to an initial message, but it always worked fine for short emails. Maybe this is Apple’s way of fixing the bug? I’m in the UK. Are others experiencing this elsewhere, please?

He also posted Apple’s response that the company knows of the issue and is reviewing it.

Thanks Michael, I just got a response from Apple Support stating that “we are aware of this issue and it is currently under review”. Let’s hope that the review leads to the return of missing Siri functions. I was speculating that the reduced Siri capabilities might be related to the need for the interpretation of Siri commands to fit on device in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.. By the way, I also noticed that Siri is now less flexible about how commands are formulated. I used to be able to say just “do not disturb”. This no longer works and Siri now requires something like “turn on do not disturb”.

With the iOS 15 update, the voice assistant is smarter and more intuitive; it is able to carry out on-device processing to fulfill requests offline, share items, understand the context to fulfill tasks, and more. However, most improvements require an A12 Bionic chip and are only available on iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and later.

About the Author

Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.

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