Siri unable to send email?

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iOS & iPadOS

One of the people whom I support told me that she could no longer use Siri to send email from her iPhone 8 with iOS 14. I tried on my iPhone SE with iOS 15.0 and the response from Siri was "sorry, I can't help with that'. Subsequently, I've had the same response on a phone running iOS 12. If this is a deliberate feature removal, it's certainly a loss to some users with sight loss who find it a convenient way to send a brief email. I know there was a serious bug when long emails were built up in Siri by adding to an initial message, but it always worked fine for short emails. Maybe this is Apple's way of fixing the bug? I'm in the UK. Are others experiencing this elsewhere, please?

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Comments

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Friday, September 24, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I don't have anything helpful to add, other than that I think it's an issue with Siri vs. functionality removal. I was made aware this week that asking Siri to play voicemail and read missed calls also no longer works. I tried restarting this person's device and enabling and disabling Airplane mode, both of which did not resolve the issue.

Submitted by Brian Negus on Friday, September 24, 2021

Thanks Michael, I just got a response from Apple Support stating that "we are aware of this issue and it is currently under review". Let's hope that the review leads to the return of missing Siri functions. I was speculating that the reduced Siri capabilities might be related to the need for the interpretation of Siri commands to fit on device in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.. By the way, I also noticed that Siri is now less flexible about how commands are formulated. I used to be able to say just "do not disturb". This no longer works and Siri now requires something like "turn on do not disturb".

Submitted by AppleVis on Thursday, September 30, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

MacRumors, 9to5Mac, and AppleInsider have all now posted articles based upon this thread.

MacRumors reports that the following Siri commands are no longer available:

  • 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]

It's rather disappointing that each article insists on referring to these Siri commands as “used by visually impaired users,” when there is nothing about them to suggest that they are more likely to be used by blind or low vision users than by anybody else. But, it does at least help to raise awareness of their removal, and Apple does tend to give a higher priority to addressing issues which get media coverage. So, here's hoping that this will result in an early return of these commands.

Submitted by Brian Negus on Thursday, September 30, 2021

It's great that this issue has been spotted by the media but I suspect that Apple won't be restoring missing Siri features any time soon. I hope I'm wrong. I thought I'd try to write a Siri Shortcut as a stop gap. I've only written trivial shortcuts so far so this has been a learning experience. All the necessary commands seem to be there and my shortcut can prepare to send an email with a dictated subject and message body. The tricky bitt is locating a contact from a dictated name and then extracting the email address. I'm using "find contacts where name is" and "get email addresses from input" but that didn't work last night. I'll keep trying but I'd welcome assistance if there's a shorcuts expert out there, please. I realise that I may be attempting the impossible, but it's worth a try.

Submitted by Brian Negus on Thursday, September 30, 2021

I discovered my error and can now extract an email address in my Siri Shortcut from a dictated contact name. It's almost working now and runs OK from the Shortcuts app but it is behaving oddly when I run the shortcut using Siri. Not great behaviour for a Siri Shortcut! It must be fixable. I'll work on it later today and report back only if I produce a useful shortcut.

Submitted by Luke Bain on Thursday, September 30, 2021

I am on iOS 13.5 on a IPhone 11 Pro Max and you can’t send an email via Siri. You could definitely do it when It launched in 2019. As I used it often at uni to help with my dyslexia to not out type emails when on the go... I need this back ! This is essentially an accessibly feature that I still use(d) and I know lots of blind people that use(d) it too!

Submitted by Leslie on Friday, October 1, 2021

I am running iOS 14.7.1 and these commands don’t work for me either. It cannot be iOS 15 that is causing the problem I am running iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Submitted by Eileen😷 on Friday, October 1, 2021

Siri command changes are made server side by Apple, which means that they are not tied to a specific OS version. This means that Apple can also return these commands without there needing to be an OS update.

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Saturday, October 2, 2021

I have to say though, it’s only started happening since I installed iOS 14.8 on my iPhone 12 mini and iPadOS 15 on my iPad Air 2020. It’s irritating to say the least.

Submitted by robdaher on Monday, October 4, 2021

Apple removed the Siri tools regardless of the ios14 or ios 15 versions.
We need a lawyer to sue in defense of consumer rights since the only reason I use apple is because of SIRI.
It's like if I buy Alexa and ask for a song and it replies: "I can't help you with that".
Would that be fair?