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How To Type Commands To Siri In iOS 11

Personal assistants, and what they can do, are becoming a way to measure how intelligent an OS is. Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana are the three popular, big name PAs that you can find on both smartphones and desktops. These assistants are trained to respond to verbal commands. It’s a quick way to interact with your device without actually unlocking or touching it. Unfortunately, a voice command might not work for everyone. If you own an Android device, you can input text in Google Assistant as opposed to speaking a command. If you have an iPhone running iOS 11, you can now type commands to Siri. This is an accessibility feature so you will have to enable it.

Type Commands To Siri

Open the Settings app and go to General>Accessibility. Tap Siri.

On the Siri screen, turn on the Type to Siri option. The next time you press and hold the Home button to invoke Siri, you will get an on-screen keyboard instead of the Siri animation that indicates it is listening. The predictive text bar works with Siri and so do all other keyboards you have configured. We should point out that if Siri isn’t available in a particular language, you won’t be able to type a command in it.

If Siri doesn’t recognize the commands you give it, or it doesn’t understand you very well this might be one way to work around it. If we’re being honest, the better solution to this particular problem is to correct Siri when she doesn’t hear you correctly. To do that, tap the Edit option under the recognized command and fix what Siri has understood. Over time, it will learn from your corrections and improve at understanding you. The option to edit commands in Siri have been a part of iOS for quite a while now. This new type commands to Siri feature is for people who have difficulty speaking and not necessarily for people who have trouble getting Siri to understand them.

When you enable type commands to Siri, you can no longer speak a command. There’s no way to quickly switch back to the voice only commands. You can use the dictate feature to dictate a command or question to Siri. Any commands that you type can be edited even after they’ve been ‘sent’.

It’s odd that both Apple and Google waited this long to add an option to type commands. These personal assistant apps are useful but being able to speak commands to them isn’t what defines or limits their usefulness.

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