In the latest iOS 17 update, Apple has introduced a groundbreaking Siri authentication feature for AirPods, addressing a persistent challenge, particularly for individuals with mobility or visual impairments. This feature empowers users to command Siri and access various iPhone functions without the need for physical interaction with their devices.
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The Problem Solved
The longstanding issue of unlocking the iPhone to authenticate Siri commands, initially raised by quadriplegic user Colin Hughes, has now been effectively resolved. Previously, executing Siri commands necessitated unlocking the iPhone each time, creating difficulties for users who faced challenges with continuous unlocking.
How to Use The Feature
The newly introduced feature allows the iPhone to recognize and authenticate Siri requests through AirPods when they are within range. Once AirPods are in use and the iPhone is unlocked, the device remains authenticated even if it subsequently locks. This authentication persists as long as the AirPods stay within range or until the audio output device is changed.
Instructions for Utilizing the Feature:
To leverage advanced Siri commands via AirPods when your iPhone is locked, follow these steps:
- Unlock your iPhone, and check that iOS 17 is installed.
- Go to Settings — > Siri & Search. Ensure that Allow Siri When Locked is enabled.
- Place your AirPods in your ears, and ensure that iPhone reports that they’re connected.
- Now lock your iPhone. You should be able to successfully execute Siri commands which require access to personal information, such as “What’s on my calendar today”, or “Read my new messages.”
This Siri authentication method exemplifies Apple’s dedication to accessibility, facilitating easier device interaction for users with mobility or visual impairments. Beyond its accessibility benefits, the feature enhances the Siri experience for all users, streamlining interactions with iPhones by allowing Siri access without the need for unlocking the phone each time. This contributes to improved efficiency and an overall enhanced user experience.