Whether you're busy cooking or just want to limit the amount of time you spend on a certain task, timers come in handy for all sorts of things. And the quicker you can set a timer, the more time you'll have to tend to whatever it is you're doing.

timer set as alarm watch siri
The usual go-to for achieving this on Apple Watch is via Siri. Users can ask ‌‌Siri‌‌ to set a timer by holding the watch up to their mouth and making the request. Pressing and holding the Digital Crown will also invoke ‌‌Siri‌, and it should be as simple as saying "set a timer for X minutes."

We say should intentionally here, because based on several recent reports from users, ‌Siri‌ is sometimes interpreting the request to set a timer as a request to set an alarm, which is clearly not what users want.

What appears to be happening is that ‌Siri‌ is often failing to hear the full request for a timer. So instead of hearing "Set a timer for four minutes," ‌Siri‌ is only picking up "Set a timer for four." ‌Siri‌, it seems, is missing the last word.

As a result, the response ‌Siri‌ gives is something like "Timers can't be set for a time of day, so I set your alarm for 4 a.m." In other words, the assistant is creating an alarm instead of a timer and automatically turning it on.

A timer failing to go off can be a genuine problem. But for a user who does not notice ‌Siri‌'s error (especially if they aren't looking at their watch's screen), not only are they not getting the requested timer, they are also likely to be rudely woken in the middle of the night.

How to Avoid Unwanted Alarms

One way to prevent ‌Siri‌ from missing the word "minutes" in your command is to rephrase your request by moving it from the end of the phrase to the middle. So rather than say "Set a timer for four minutes," say "set a four-minute timer" instead. That way, it can't be missed.

It's also worth turning on ‌Siri‌'s spoken response, captions, and the transcription of your speech.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. In the My Watch screen, select Siri -> Siri Responses.
  3. Under "Spoken Responses," tap Always On.
  4. Toggle on the switch next to Always Show Siri Captions.
  5. Toggle on the switch next to Always Show Speech.


These options won't stop ‌Siri‌ from misinterpreting your timer requests as alarm commands. But they should help reduce the chance of you missing the assistant's mistakes until Apple can fix them in a future update.

Popular Stories

Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...