Working for People with Sight Loss

Using Offline Siri on iPhone Running iOS 15

iPhone screen with Siri displaying message "What can I help you with?"

One of the subtle but valuable new features with iOS 15 is that Siri works even when offline for some commands. Since Siri can work without having to communicate with a server, offline Siri commands are faster and more responsive. It also means for many commands you give Siri when your iPhone isn’t connected to the internet, you won’t get that frustrating reply “sorry I can’t help you right now”.

So, what works with offline Siri? Apple highlighted some use cases in their 2021 WWDC Keynote. You can ask Siri to do the following:

  • Open apps
  • Controlling system settings like dark/light mode, volume, Accessibility features, Airplane mode, Low Power mode, do not disturb and more.
  • Setting and changing timers and alarms
  • Playing the next or previous song in the Music app

When you are offline and you ask Siri something she can’t help with, it will respond with “I will help with that when you are connected to the Internet”. So, things like the weather, reminders, calendar, or specific actions in apps that need an internet connection will not work.