We might have a brand new way to activate Siri on Apple’s next-generation iPhones, according to one iOS developer.
References in Apple’s source code hint at a new gesture using the physical sleep/wake button, which will enable us to access the virtual assistant in situations where using the “Hey Siri” command isn’t ideal.
On current iPhones, you can invoke Siri by saying “Hey Siri,” or by holding down the Home button. But to make room for a larger, edge-to-edge display, Apple is expected to ship iPhone 8 without a physical Home button.
Virtual buttons are likely to take its place for navigation iOS, but they probably won’t work when the device is asleep. That means the only way to access Siri on a sleeping iPhone would be to use the “Hey Siri” command, which doesn’t work when Low Power Mode is active, and is unreliable in noisy environments.
To get around this, Apple might give us the option to activate Siri by holding down the handset’s power button.
“I did find a gesture to invoke Siri by holding the lock button,” tweeted Brazilian iOS developer Guilherme Rambo, who has previously uncovered other iPhone 8 secrets in Apple’s firmware code.
I did find a gesture to invoke Siri by holding the lock button.
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) September 2, 2017
It’s not yet clear how this gesture would be differentiated between the long press used to power off an iOS device.
The iPhone’s sleep/wake button already offers a number of different functions. Tapping it once will put your iPhone to sleep when you’ve finished using it, or wake it up when the display is off. Holding it down lets you power off or restart the device, and tapping it five times displays the Emergency SOS function, and temporarily disables Touch ID.
We’ll know more about Apple’s plans for iPhone 8 — and how we’ll live without the physical Home button that has been a staple since 2007 — when the device makes its official debut on September 12.