Today’s Apple Feedback: Siri, re-read that message to me again – Nope.

I have a few Siri-related pieces of Apple feedback today, as I just returned from a road trip yesterday as my wife waited for my arrival at home. We were messaging each other during the drive, and having Siri dictate my messages as well as read me messages I’ve received is a terrific feature that I probably rely on too heavily, but it’s so convenient and not to mention obviously safer than actually physically texting – also legal, because it’s hands-free.

Some issues with Siri reading messages are understandable, such as how she speaks things like “What’s your ETA?”, which she will pronounce phonetically as “What’s your ehtah?”.  However, if you don’t quite understand what Siri just said, she refuses to read messages (at least in some circumstances) a second time:

If you ask Siri to read your messages to you, she speaks the message, but if you happen to receive a message while she is speaking a message, the volume of her voice softens to an inaudible level so that the new message sound can play. What’s more is that if you ask Siri to read the message again, no matter how you try to refer to it (e.g. “previous message”, “last two messages”, or “reread that message to me”…), she will simply read the message that just came in or tell me I have no new messages. When driving, this can be a very frustrating problem. So I think it would be a great enhancement to give Siri the ability to reread messages, e.g. the “last n messages”, “last n messages from my mom”, or “the previous/next message”. Another acceptable solution would be to delay the chime.

I simply ended up giving up trying to get Siri to reread those messages and I put off reading them until I stopped for gas or a rest stop – or I would simply ask my wife to send that text again.

Of course, this is a first-world problem and for that reason, I considered not posting this feedback, but I am a programmer myself and a perfectionist.  I know if I was responsible for Siri’s interface, I would want to fix or at least mitigate something like this.

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