With the help of Siri on your iPhone, you can listen to and reply to text messages without ever looking at or touching your iPhone’s screen. This can be useful when cycling or running, or just quicker than typing. Setting up your contacts correctly can help.



Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s look at using Siri to send and receive text messages on your iPhone.

Sometimes I’m asked if I really use Siri. I say, “Sure I do, all the time.” Then I tell them how and they confess they didn’t even know Siri could do this. See with Siri it is easy to read a text message and reply to a text message without ever having to look at or tap your screen. As a matter of fact you can leave your iPhone in your pocket.

For instance when I am biking I have my headphones on, I’m listening to an audiobook or music and I can hear that a text message comes in. I can ask Siri to read it to me and then I can reply to it without ever breaking stride.

So let’s say I’m riding along and I get a text message. Here’s the screen on my iPhone but my iPhone is in my pocket. I’ve got my headphones in so I can hear when a text message comes and I can reply to it using the microphone in the headphones.

So I’ll hear that sound and I’ll use the microphone in my headphones to ask Siri “Read me that message.” You have a message from Joe Smith, are we meeting for lunch today?. You can reply or read it again. Reply. What do you want to say to Joe Smith. Yes, see you at noon. I updated your message. Ready to send it? Yes. Okay I’ll send it.

So the key of course is using the headphones. With the button here and the microphone on it I can reply just using the microphone here and usually just by letting it hang while you are walking or riding. It picks up your voice just fine and you can use Siri that way.

You can also use this to initiate text messaging. So you want to message somebody you can simply bring your hand up and press and hold for a second or so and then you will hear the little Siri tone and you can start a text message conversation that way.

“Send a text message to Joe Smith.” What do you want to say to Joe Smith. “Can we meet for lunch tomorrow instead?” I updated your message. Ready to send it? Yes. Okay I’ll send your message.

Now Siri can also do things in different ways. For instance a really quick shortcut to be able to send a text message to somebody is to just do it as one command.

“Tell Joe Smith I’ll be there soon.” Here’s your message to Joe Smith. Ready to send it? Yes.

For this to work best you want to make sure your Contacts are good. You go into your Contacts and for instance make sure of course that either their phone number for text messaging or their iMessage email address is there. Then also when you edit you can go down to Add Field and make sure maybe to do a phonetic first name and phonetic last name if Siri has trouble understanding you when you say their name.

Or add a nickname that you can call them and Siri will understand that nickname. For instance you can add say “wife” for your wife and then you can say send a text message to my wife.

Of course we can debate whether or not this is safe or not or whether it violates some State’s texting while driving laws. But if you are listening to your iPhone already while driving in the car and you have it connected via Bluetooth or a USB connection you can use Siri to read a text message you just got in which can give you a clue whether or not it is important enough to pullover and answer the text message then or simply wait until you get to your destination to answer the text message.

Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.


10 Responses to “MacMost Now 874: Using Siri For Text Messaging”

  1. Dave Wilma says:

    Any tips on how to key the Siri mic using the Bluetooth in the car? Press the off-hook button?

    • It depends on the car or the Bluetooth system in the car. For instance, in my car it works no problem: I just press and hold the Home button on my iPhone like I would outside of the car, but then I can speak and hear from the car’s Bluetooth system. But there are hundreds of different car/system variations so it is impossible to tell if yours can work, and if so, how. You just have to keep experimenting. Maybe talk to your dealer as they may have experience in getting it going.

  2. Gary says:

    Great tip! Thank you.

  3. Rita Hirst says:

    I’m computerstupid but I actually understood this information. Thank you.

  4. Ann Kitchen says:

    Great tips, Gary! Sometimes noises around me prevent Siri from correctly transcribing my words when I use this feature. So when Siri asks me “Ready to send it?” I say “Review” and Siri reads back the text to me so I can be sure of what I’m sending without having to look at the phone. If I’m connected via bluetooth, Siri automatically reviews the text back to me before asking me if I want to send it. It is VERY HANDY, and as you said, requires no viewing of the phone whatsoever.

  5. Corinna says:

    Thanks, Gary, great info. I totally didn’t know Siri could do that. Love your videos.

  6. Andrei Jakobovits says:

    Great Video, I just purchased an iPad mini, and will try to use Siri more ,I had some misspelled Words, probably because My European Accent….hope Siri will UNDERSTAND ME BETTER in the future ….

  7. Jdh says:

    My only hesitation to use this system is that when I dictate a text message Siri doesn’t always understand properly what I have said, and since it doesn’t playback my own text message, I am hesitant to send it Without looking at it. Of course, this is impossible if the phone is in my pocket and I am driving.

    • You can ask siri to “review” the message before you send it. Siri will read it back to you so you can confirm that it got it right. Try it.

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