Siri loses a whole bunch of features and is now even less useful

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Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Not a lot, apparently.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Siri is widely considered the dumbest of the smart assistants (although I would argue that Samsung’s Bixby easily takes that crown) and it just got a little dumber. Apple has removed a whole bunch of useful Siri features that iPhone users — particularly those with vision impairment — relied on.

Siri can no longer play your voicemail messages, check your call history, send an email, and more. “Sorry, I can’t help with that” is the response that greets iPhone users who attempt to use the features that were available before iOS 15 made its public debut almost two weeks ago.

Siri loses useful features after iOS 15 update

“One of the people whom I support told me that she could no longer use Siri to send email from her iPhone 8 with iOS 14,” wrote on user on the AppleVis forum for vision impaired users of Apple devices. “I tried on my iPhone SE with iOS 15.0 and the response from Siri was ‘sorry, I can’t help with that.’”

“If this is a deliberate feature removal, it’s certainly a loss to some users with sight loss who find it a convenient way to send a brief email.” And it’s not the only feature that Siri has lost, according to MacRumors. The following requests, which worked before, are now met with the same response:

  • Do I have any voicemails?
  • Play my voicemail messages.
  • Check my call history.
  • Check my recent calls.
  • Who called me?
  • Send an email.
  • Send an email to …

In some instances, like when asked to check call history, Siri will respond, “I can’t help with that, but you can ask me to open the Phone app.” But that’s not particularly helpful to those who find it difficult to see the app.

What happened to Siri?

Siri can still play a user’s most recent voicemail, or a voicemail from a specific person if your carrier supports visual voicemail on iPhone.

It’s not yet clear if these changes are intentional or the result of a bug — or some other issue — that was introduced with iOS 15. One user on the AppleVis forum was told by Apple that it is “aware of the issue,” which may indicate the changes weren’t entirely planned.

We’ve asked Apple for comment and we’ll update this post if we get a response.