Siri is not known for being the smartest digital assistant on the block, but at the least, it could do basic functions like checking your voicemails. However, with the public release of iOS 15, it seems that Siri has forgotten how to do some basic tasks — to the detriment of those who may rely on Siri as an accessibility tool.
According to MacRumors, Siri commands related to phone calls, voicemails, and emails have suddenly stopped working. Users in the AppleVis forums — an online resource for blind and low vision people who use Apple products — have also raised concerns.
The removed commands (via MacRumors) are:
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]
Gizmodo confirmed that these Siri commands no longer work using an iPhone 12 Pro Max running iOS 15. For instance, when asked to check call history, Siri said “I can’t help with that, but you can ask me to open the Phone app.” While none of these commands are specifically made for blind or low vision people, they can be helpful tools. Apple also lists Siri as one of its vision accessibility features. These commands could also be useful for people with motor or cognitive impairments, as well as able-bodied folks who need a hands-free option during activities like cooking or driving. Again, these are some basic commands that you’d expect from any working digital assistant.
It’s unclear whether these removals are permanent, or perhaps another iOS 15 bug that’ll get patched in an update. Gizmodo reached out to Apple but did not receive an immediate response.
To be fair, iOS 15 has had its fair share of bugs since its release. For instance, Instagram Stories were muted in iOS 15 if your ringer switch was set to silent — though that’s since been fixed. Another bug was that the handy “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature didn’t work on certain iPhone 13s. Others have reported touch responsiveness issues, AirPods Pro controls, and a Messages bug that deletes some saved photos.
Bugs in an initial public release aren’t out of the ordinary. We’ve seen this happen plenty of times before, and it’s a big reason why you might want to wait for a more stable release before upgrading. But if you haven’t already upgraded and these are features you rely on, you might want to wait until we get an iOS 15.1 fix.