Apple's 2017 iPad lacks always-on 'Hey Siri' support, despite inclusion of M9 chip

Posted:
in iPad edited May 2017
While Apple highlighted the A9 and M9 chip combination as what makes "Hey Siri" possible on battery power in the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE, the 2017 fifth generation iPad with the same chip combination lacks the ability.




Though the new iPad launched in March, the lack of always-on "Hey Siri" support has gone largely unnnoticed Absent even on the A9X powered 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the only iPad model the feature is currently available on is the 9.7-inch iPad.

The absence is confirmed by a note in the fifth-generation iPad's Settings menu, which states the feature is only able to be used when the iPad is plugged into an external source of power.

Always-on "Hey Siri" was first introduced with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Apple claimed that the feature was made possible by the special low-power processing of the M9, which allows "Hey Siri" voice controls can be invoked without touching the device or plugging it in.

It remains unknown why Apple hasn't added always-on "Hey Siri" support for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and Apple has not responded to requests for comment about the situation. Beyond the iPhone 6s series, iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the "Hey Siri" command can also be used with the Apple Watch, but users must first raise their wrist to activate the screen before speaking.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,800member
    Huh. Could it have anything to do with the rumored Apple Assistant device, a trade-up feature per-se to differentiate it from the newest Apple iPad?

    Good catch BTW.
    edited May 2017 rare commentargonaut
  • Reply 2 of 17
    r210r210 Posts: 13member
    I'm able to turn on "Hey Siri" in both 12.9 inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,800member
    r210 said:
    I'm able to turn on "Hey Siri" in both 12.9 inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2.
    When not plugged into external power?
    irelandSolitycho_macuserpscooter63adm1
  • Reply 4 of 17
    repressthisrepressthis Posts: 346member
    I was under the impression that the iPad can function as a hub for HomeKit. The lack of always on Hey Siri on a hub for HomeKit, with requisite M9, seems odd. 
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 5 of 17
    wigbywigby Posts: 648member
    For all of Android's hardware fragmentation, Apple has their own frag issues that they need to get under control. 
    daren_mitchellanantksundaram
  • Reply 6 of 17
    ransonranson Posts: 22member
    Calling "Hey Siri" while unplugged is probably not too big of a deal for mobile devices that need to be frequently charged (e.g., iPhones). But I would wager that it is not conducive for devices that go a long period of time (sometimes weeks or months) without needing a charge, like an iPad. There would be a slow drain of listening for the trigger words that would run those device batteries down much more quickly than their usual standby time. So folks who charge their iPads infrequently would probably be met with a drained battery too often with the feature enabled. That being said, it should certainly be an option (disabled by default) for those who wish to have the feature. Apple and Google have become too aggressive with force-feeding us "features" that we don't want while sunsetting features that we really do want. They should instead let the user decide which features to enable or disable.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    r210r210 Posts: 13member
    gatorguy said:
    r210 said:
    I'm able to turn on "Hey Siri" in both 12.9 inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2.
    When not plugged into external power?
    Yes, or maybe not. While I can "flip" the switch it does not respond to "Hey Siri".
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Because maybe if I say "Hey Siri" and my Watch, phone, and iPad respond all at once I might throw it out the window?


    my favorite is when a character in a show or on a podcast or radio or whatever says, "hey (s-word)" and then everything responds. I love it. 
  • Reply 9 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 3,916member
    wigby said:
    For all of Android's hardware fragmentation, Apple has their own frag issues that they need to get under control. 
    How is it not under control now? Premiere app platform (iOS first, Android later), and longest lifespan of supported updates. 

    Differences between models doesn't mean "Fragmentation! Fragmentation!"
    pscooter63argonaut
  • Reply 10 of 17
    rare commentrare comment Posts: 126member
    Huh. Could it have anything to do with the rumored Apple Assistant device, a trade-up feature per-se to differentiate it from the newest Apple iPad?

    Good catch BTW.
    I agree 100% with this. Related: iPad's recognition of "hey siri" from across a room is weak relative to echo and google home (not that Apple has claimed it is supposed to work well from a distance). By handicapping "hey siri" (so it requires being plugged in), Apple may reduce complaints from those who, like me, tried to use Siri on iPad as an Alexa/Google Assistant alternative. The focused microphones of the dedicated devices really make a big difference in usability.
    argonaut
  • Reply 11 of 17
    ajlajl Posts: 75member
    As well as Slo-Mo between iPhone 5s and iPad mini 2 – both with A7+M7 chips, but the iPad lacks the feature.

    WTF!
  • Reply 12 of 17
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,116member
    "Hey Siri" remains a mystery to me. It's working less than half the times with my phones, and usually I can forget about doing it successfully across the room. Sometimes, however, while the phone close to me doesn't react, surprisingly the one in the far corner answers. 
    notnal Siri use, even while using the in-car mic while driving, is close to perfect regarding understanding, so I guess it's nothing to do with pronunciation. I feel that every now and then disabling and re-enabling the feature helps - for a while. 
    Strange. 
    daren_mitchell
  • Reply 13 of 17
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,589member
    Because maybe if I say "Hey Siri" and my Watch, phone, and iPad respond all at once I might throw it out the window?


    my favorite is when a character in a show or on a podcast or radio or whatever says, "hey (s-word)" and then everything responds. I love it. 
    It seems is the reason. When both iPhone and iPad respond to Hey Siri, the response could be annoying. And for most people if they use an iPad most likely they will have an iPhone. 
  • Reply 14 of 17
    "Hey Siri" remains a mystery to me. It's working less than half the times with my phones, and usually I can forget about doing it successfully across the room. Sometimes, however, while the phone close to me doesn't react, surprisingly the one in the far corner answers. 
    notnal Siri use, even while using the in-car mic while driving, is close to perfect regarding understanding, so I guess it's nothing to do with pronunciation. I feel that every now and then disabling and re-enabling the feature helps - for a while. 
    Strange. 
    "Re-enabling the feature helps - for a while." is a Not At All thing! I have a weekly reminder setup and it goes about 2 weeks before it'll 'slip' days and/or times I have to reset it. Super frustrating for a Reminders app that cannot Remember consistently. 
  • Reply 15 of 17
    misamisa Posts: 821member
    I don't use Siri.

    I think we're being sold "star trek computer" but being given babbys-first-voice-recognition.

    It may have uses for accessibility reasons , but the last thing you need is a TV program going "Siri, call 911" and having millions of 911 calls go out.

    It's a blackhat's fever dream of being able to get millions of devices to do something malicious without confirmation.
    rotateleftbyteargonaut
  • Reply 16 of 17
    misa said:
    I don't use Siri.

    I think we're being sold "star trek computer" but being given babbys-first-voice-recognition.

    It may have uses for accessibility reasons , but the last thing you need is a TV program going "Siri, call 911" and having millions of 911 calls go out.

    It's a blackhat's fever dream of being able to get millions of devices to do something malicious without confirmation.
    well... since it "learns" your voice 1st; only like one percent of people are a close enough match to trigger yours.
    Lol, I think your exaggerative hyperbole would be more accurate if you said "dozens", instead of "millions"...
  • Reply 17 of 17
    It is as if having something that is listening in on your life 24/7/52 is a good thing?

    Haven't you people read 1984?

    I guess it is time for the clock to strike 13.
    sorry, but in my home nothing will be on like this ever.
    The day that 'Hey Siri' or whatever gets a response is going to be a bad, really bad day for the bit of kit that responded. I have a 14lb sledgehammer ready to do it some damage.
     
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