iPhone 6s stops listening for 'Hey Siri' when it's in your pocket or face down on a table

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
Apple's new iPhone 6s utilizes its M9 coprocessor for "Hey Siri" input, allowing it to always listen for voice commands. Well, almost always.




In years past, Apple's motion coprocessor has been used to silently and constantly track steps and activity. But starting with this year's A9 CPU in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the M9 component also listens for voice.

With earlier iOS devices, "Hey Siri" requires an iPhone or an iPad connected to external power to prevent draining battery life. But the M9 enables the iPhone 6s to always listen for "Hey Siri" commands --?except when it doesn't.

Though it's not noted in any of Apple's promotional materials, "Hey Siri" does not work on the iPhone 6s when it's laying face down, or is inside a user's pocket.

Presumably, the iPhone 6s proximity sensor, located near the earpiece above the Retina display, is also constantly utilized to change when the device is available for "Hey Siri."




Starting with iOS 9, Apple also utilizes the proximity sensor on all iPhone models to prevent the display from turning on when the handset is lying face-down or within a pocket. Displays are typically the most power-hungry component on an iPhone, and keeping the screen dark when a user cannot see it is a practical way to extend battery life.

Similarly, it's unlikely that a user will want to invoke "Hey Siri" when their iPhone is in their pocket, where the device's microphone and speaker could be obstructed.

Users who want constant access to "Hey Siri" with their iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus should perhaps get into the habit of laying their handset on a table face-up.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    When I played the first new Apple Watch ad on my iPhone 6s+ running 9.1, the actor said, "Hey Siri!" and my Siri on my phone responded!

    Cute.
  • Reply 2 of 38

    This actually bothers me because I keep my phone covered on my bedside table and I can no longer ask Siri what time it is when I wake up on a day with no alarm set. First world problems, I know, but I wish when it was plugged in that it would ignore this since it's obviously not in a pocket.

  • Reply 3 of 38
    One thing Apple has done in iOS 9, which I really do not like is the absence of a tone or some kind of more obvious feedback indicating Siri is ready for a query. It used to be the equivalent of "How may I be of assistance" or "I'm ready".
  • Reply 4 of 38
    One thing Apple has done in iOS 9, which I really do not like is the absence of a tone or some kind of more obvious feedback indicating Siri is ready for a query. It used to be the equivalent of "How may I be of assistance" or "I'm ready".

    The annoying thing is that it's not even a complete absence - you still get the little double ding prompt when you use Hey Siri! but now get nothing when you start Siri by pressing and holding the home button which means you have to look at the screen to make sure she is ready to respond. If it is on for one way I see no reason why it should't be on for both
  • Reply 5 of 38
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I assume if the iPhone is in your pocket you can continue to use your Apple Watch to say "Hey Siri". Right?

     

    Can you invoke Siri through BT or wired microphone?

  • Reply 6 of 38
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,073member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    One thing Apple has done in iOS 9, which I really do not like is the absence of a tone or some kind of more obvious feedback indicating Siri is ready for a query. It used to be the equivalent of "How may I be of assistance" or "I'm ready".

     

    I like the change. Makes things more subtle and natural, and one less sounds to bother people around you. 

  • Reply 7 of 38
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    I like the change. Makes things more subtle and natural, and one less sounds to bother people around you. 




    Like shouting "Hey Siri" is not going to annoy people nearby, especially if its doesn't work because it is in your pocket and you don't know why it doesn't work so you shout even louder a second time.

  • Reply 8 of 38
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,073member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     



    Like shouting "Hey Siri" is not going to annoy people nearby.


     

    Your statement is irrelevant. We're taking about Siri being activated while holding down the home button, which is silent. The notification still activates with "Hey Siri", which makes sense since you might not be looking at your phone. 

  • Reply 9 of 38
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    Your statement is irrelevant. We're taking about Siri being activated while holding down the home button, which is silent. The notification still activates with "Hey Siri", which makes sense since you might not be looking at your phone. 




    Well you are still going to annoy people because you have to speak out loud to use Siri. A little beep is nothing compared to having to listen to someone trying to use Siri, which doesn't really work that well sometimes and you have try various rephrasings of your query until you finally give up in disgust. It is bad enough people have cell phone conversations on public transit, let alone some Siri interaction. You should be more mindful of others and just wait until you are out of earshot to use that service

  • Reply 10 of 38
    I carry my 6S in my shirt pocket with the screen facing away from me. Siri works fine that way. And, I don't have to shout. It's very handy for starting a timer or making a note.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,779member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post





    The annoying thing is that it's not even a complete absence - you still get the little double ding prompt when you use Hey Siri! but now get nothing when you start Siri by pressing and holding the home button which means you have to look at the screen to make sure she is ready to respond. If it is on for one way I see no reason why it should't be on for both

    It still makes the sound when connected to BT in the car. I kind of getting not having extra noises when I've pressed the home button and am presumably looking right at the display.

  • Reply 12 of 38
    jony0jony0 Posts: 268member

    I was disappointed that the display does not go off when it's facing down.

    Is there a setting somewhere ? I looked in « Display & Brightness », « Battery » or « Accessibility ».

  • Reply 13 of 38
    As an aside, my 6 Plus has always worked with Hey Siri without external power. Maybe there's an option in there that I set last year. Either that, or the oft-claimed power requirement is incorrect?
  • Reply 14 of 38
    mgzmgz Posts: 25member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post



    The annoying thing is that it's not even a complete absence - you still get the little double ding prompt when you use Hey Siri! but now get nothing when you start Siri by pressing and holding the home button which means you have to look at the screen to make sure she is ready to respond. If it is on for one way I see no reason why it should't be on for both

     

    You guys must be using an iPhone 6s right? They removed it because it's listening as soon as you hold down the home button. You don't need to wait. Just hold down the home button and start talking. Same thing for Hey Siri. Just say "Hey Siri" followed immediately by your request, and she'll catch up in a second.

  • Reply 15 of 38
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     



    Like shouting "Hey Siri" is not going to annoy people nearby, especially if its doesn't work because it is in your pocket and you don't know why it doesn't work so you shout even louder a second time.


     

    Do you plan on shouting "Hey Siri" while you're at work?  Seems a lot more logical to hold down a silent home button.

  • Reply 16 of 38
    mstone wrote: »
    Well you are still going to annoy people because you have to speak out loud to use Siri. A little beep is nothing compared to having to listen to someone trying to use Siri, which doesn't really work that well sometimes and you have try various rephrasings of your query until you finally give up in disgust.

    Kind of like the naysaying and trolling in these forums. It keeps annoying you until you have to finally give up in disgust.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    This has frustrated me since I often will put my phone in my shirt pocket upside down while driving. This positions the speaker and mic right below my face and its unobstructed by any material. I have used this as a hands free method many times including using speaker phone.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    roakeroake Posts: 619member
    What about the person who was just involved in a car crash (such as rolling the car on an isolated road) and cannot reach their phone. They darned well better hope it's right-side up or the, "Hey Siri! Dial 9-1-1" won't work. Too bad! At least they might get to meet Steve Jobs soon...

    Wasn't there some guy in the news recently that did something like this?
  • Reply 19 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    Your statement is irrelevant. We're taking about Siri being activated while holding down the home button, which is silent. The notification still activates with "Hey Siri", which makes sense since you might not be looking at your phone. 




    Well you are still going to annoy people because you have to speak out loud to use Siri. A little beep is nothing compared to having to listen to someone trying to use Siri, which doesn't really work that well sometimes and you have try various rephrasings of your query until you finally give up in disgust. It is bad enough people have cell phone conversations on public transit, let alone some Siri interaction. You should be more mindful of others and just wait until you are out of earshot to use that service


    I have noticed that even in polite company, not strangers in public, that using voice control is far more disrupting and far more rude than silently typing. That little beep can silence a room alone.

     

    I can't count how many times family and friends have used voice to do or search or something and it KILLS everyone else talking. The entire room silences themselves out of awkwardness to the person using their voice function. 

     

    I think part of that is the novelty, but most of the novelty has worn off by now. Now its because everyone knows that when they hear that beep and someone using voice they know that a noisy room is not good, so everyone awkwardly shuts their mouths. 

     

    Its rude, self centered and disrupting in my opinion. I would rather just have people type on their phones and ignore only me than interrupt the entire room full of people.

     

    It gets even worse when the voice control doesn't work the first or second time. 

     

    So I sometimes speak nonsense at a louder tone just to mess with it while everyone else tries to remember what they were talking about before the rude person tried to use their voice control. Usually gets a laugh.

     

    Voice control has unfortunately turned into an "everyone look at me using voice control!" sort of thing.

     

    Just type it out. Unless you are alone. 

  • Reply 20 of 38
    From Apple's Siri support website:

    "You can turn off "Hey Siri" in Settings > General > Siri. In iOS 9 or later, you can also temporarily disable "Hey Siri" by setting your device face down."
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