How to Enable Type to Siri in iOS 11

One of the common complaints about Siri is the vocal component — speaking to Siri must be done verbally, which can be embarrassing and inconvenient in social situations. Apple hasn’t provided a clear cut solution like an integrated Siri and Spotlight search feature, but iOS 11 does bring a Type to Siri feature.

Type to Siri is a function designed for those who are unable to speak, but it can be enabled by anyone who would like to try typing to Siri instead of speaking to Siri.

Enabling Type to Siri

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose “General.”
  3. Select the “Accessibility” section.
  4. Scroll down to “Siri.”
  5. Toggle on “Type to Siri.”

With Type to Siri enabled, when the Home button is pressed to activate Siri, it brings up the keyboard and an option to type a command to Siri. Typed Siri commands work just like spoken Siri commands – Siri will respond to questions like “What’s the weather?” or “What movies are playing nearby?”

When you have Type to Siri turned on, it’s an all or nothing setting. All commands must be typed, and there is no option to also have Siri respond to spoken queries. There’s also no sound to denote that Siri is listening, and Siri does not speak answers aloud.

You can get around the no-speaking limitation by using dictation to dictate spoken commands to Siri if necessary, but it’s more of a hassle than simply pressing the Home button because it requires a few extra taps. To do this, when the Type to Siri interface is open, simply press the microphone-shaped dictation button on the keyboard to speak a command that will be translated to text.

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