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Siri ignores me on my Apple Watch, and I think I know why

by Todd Haselton | July 31, 2015July 31, 2015 12:00 pm PDT


When I reviewed the Apple Watch, I noted in the review that the option to say “Hey Siri” to query the voice assistant rarely worked for me. It seemed weird at the time, but I also realized it was first generation software and that maybe the microphone on the Apple Watch wasn’t that great, at least at times. It does work, though, just not for me. We’ll address that soon, but before we dive deeper, I just want to show you real quick a clip from my review:

Siri isn’t just for dictating messages, however. You’re supposed to be able to call her up by saying “Hey Siri” at any time, though this rarely worked for me. Even when I brought the watch right up to my mouth and yelled at it, Hey Siri worked maybe half the time, if that.

I was in our Irvine office this week, where a few of the other staffers have Apple Watches (and Android Wear, too). I asked my colleague Ralph to remind me to schedule something for later in the day. He looked at his Apple Watch, said “Hey Siri,” and set the reminder; an aggressive move to remind me that I could do the same.

“Hey! Mine never works,” I told Ralph. He made me double check that it was on. I stood in front of him and said “Hey Siri,” three times without any success. He leaned over, spoke the same phrase, and Siri popped right up. I tried again, this time speaking in a higher tone. Siri worked again… and again… and again.When I returned to my normal tone of voice, Siri stopped working.

Is it just me? Am I being too rude? More than likely it must be something to do with the (lower?) pitch of my voice, which seems to scare Apple’s voice assistant away from helping me. At other times, testing immediately after I had realized this issue, Siri seemed to have no problem answering to my beck and call.

Maybe I’m the only one affected by it, the rare human on earth whose voice falls flat to Siri’s ears at some times but not at others. At the very least, I stand corrected from my original review: Siri on the Apple Watch does work, so long as you don’t sound like me.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...