Recent Siri Changes Remove Call, Email, and Voicemail Features Used by Low Vision and Blind Users

With the recent release of iOS 15, Apple appears to have made some changes to Siri functionality that have removed features relied on by low vision and blind iPhone users.

siri glow
Several ‌Siri‌ commands that provide details on phone calls, voicemails, and sending emails no longer appear to be working. The following commands used to be functional, but have recently been removed.

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

Over the last two weeks, we've received several emails from ‌iPhone‌ users who are missing this key ‌Siri‌ functionality, or their relatives who are attempting to help them navigate the changes. The ‌Siri‌ feature removals have also been documented on the AppleVis forums for blind and low vision users of Apple products.

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.

Prior to this last iOS update if Siri was asked to play voicemail Siri would - now Siri just states can't do that. Trying to find a work around around as my dad who is completely blind heavily relied on this feature.

My sister is blind and Siri would respond to voice commands ie, read my text, call Barbara, answer questions regarding weather and most importantly tell my sister who called her. As of today, Siri's response is "I can't help with that". Has the system changed? Is there something on the iPhone that needs to be in abled so Siri will aid my sister with knowing who called her in the past?

Asking ‌Siri‌ to provide details on recent phone calls or voicemails results in the following response: "I can't help with that, but you can ask me to open the Phone app." Asking about email garners a similar response about ‌Siri‌ being unable to help.

It's worth noting that it's still possible to ask ‌Siri‌ to play the most recent voicemail message that's available, or a voicemail from a specific person, but ‌Siri‌ will not read out a list of all the available voicemails. The ‌Siri‌ commands seem to have disappeared when iOS 15 was released, but iOS 14 users are also not able to use them anymore so it's not an issue tied to iOS 15.

We asked Apple for comment on whether this was a bug or if there are alternate commands available for users, but after several days of waiting for a response, we did not hear back. A user on the AppleVis forums spoke to Apple support and was told that Apple is aware of the issue, so there's a possibility that this functionality will be re-added at some point.

Top Rated Comments

cmaier Avatar
13 months ago
That’s terrible.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macropanda Avatar
13 months ago
Apple seriously need to get a grip of the bugs that are being discovered every day and regain the "it just works" reputation.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maternidad Avatar
13 months ago
Thankfully a user on the AppleVis forums spoke to Apple support and was told that Apple is aware of the issue, so it is to be expected that this functionality will be re-introduced.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lanomds1 Avatar
13 months ago
What is happening to Apple?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sparkinstx Avatar
13 months ago
I don't think only blind or low vision people use these features - some people really use Siri. My wife's always saying, "Hey Siri, text so-and-so", or "Hey Siri, call so-and-so". We've held off installing 15 because of known issues like the storage almost full bug, and are waiting for 15.1 This doesn't give me a lot of confidence in even 15.1.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MadeTheSwitch Avatar
13 months ago
Apple just keeps getting worse, and worse and worse. They can’t be doing this kind of thing to a community who depends on these functions. They MUST be more careful.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

General iOS 15

Apple Seeds Release Candidate Versions of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 to Developers

Tuesday December 7, 2021 10:05 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC versions of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 15.2 updates to developers for testing purposes, less than a week after seeding the fourth betas and six weeks after the launch of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. iOS and iPadOS 15.2 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or an iPad. iOS and iPadOS ...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod 15.4 Beta Adds Dutch Siri Voice Recognition Support

Wednesday February 23, 2022 3:38 am PST by
Apple has added Dutch language voice recognition support for Siri in the latest HomePod 15.4 beta, further preparing the HomePod mini for release in the Netherlands in the near future. The addition of voice recognition, spotted by iCulture, means HomePod or HomePod mini will be able to identify who is talking to it in a Dutch-speaking multi-person household so they can make personal requests ...
hey siri banner apple

Studio Display Enables 'Hey Siri' on Several Older Macs

Monday March 21, 2022 4:12 pm PDT by
Apple's new Studio Display enables the "Hey Siri" voice command on several older Macs that previously did not support the feature. For example, while "Hey Siri" normally requires a MacBook Pro released in 2018 or later, the feature can be used on 2016 and 2017 models of the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro while connected to a Studio Display. Likewise, while "Hey Siri" normally requires an...
find my siri remote

Siri Response Suggests Find My Support Might Come to New Siri Remote

Thursday April 29, 2021 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple has made no mention of Find My integration for the Siri Remote designed for the second-generation Apple TV 4K, but Siri responses to certain requests about the remote suggest that Apple could perhaps have such a feature in the works, or at the least, might have considered adding it. If you ask Siri to "Find my Siri remote," "Find my Apple TV remote," or even just "Find my remote," Siri ...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 With Face ID Mask Unlock, New Emoji, Universal Control, and More

Monday March 14, 2022 9:45 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.4 come a month after the launch of iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1. The iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To...
apple music voice plan feature

Here's a First Look at Apple Music's Voice Plan Launching With iOS 15.2

Thursday December 9, 2021 8:53 am PST by
iOS 15.2 is expected to be released to all users as early as next week, and one of the software update's key new features is the Apple Music Voice Plan, which is designed to let users access Apple Music exclusively through Siri. Ahead of iOS 15.2 being released, we're able to provide a first look at the Voice Plan, courtesy of MacRumors contributor Steve Moser. Users will be able to...
General iOS 15

Apple Seeds Second Release Candidate Version of iOS 15.2 for iPhone 13 Models to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Friday December 10, 2021 10:12 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second RC version of an upcoming iOS 15.2 update to developers and public beta testers, less than a week after seeding the first RC and six weeks after the launch of iOS 15.1. iOS 15.2 beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or an iPad. Public beta testers can also download the...
siri symbol iphone

Hey Siri, How Old Am I? Some iPhone Users Given the Wrong Age [Fixed]

Saturday January 29, 2022 1:51 pm PST by
If you ask Siri how old you are, there is a decent chance that the voice assistant will get your age wrong if your birthday has yet to pass this year. For example, while my birthday is in April and I am still 27 years old for a few more months, Siri tells me that I am already 28 when asked. As noted by the Dutch blog iCulture, the discrepancy likely relates to Siri miscalculating birthdays...

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...