One of the smaller features in iOS 7.1 is the ability to manually control when Siri listens. In previous versions of iOS, you would press and hold the home button to summon Siri. Once you hear the familiar chime, you’d let go of the home button and speak your request. What followed was either a quick recognition that you were finished with your request or a slight delay, which could result in extraneous sounds muddling your question. Sure you can edit your Siri questions, but in many ways, that defeats the purpose of a voice activated assistant. So in iOS 7.1, Apple has introduced manual control, which should help make for faster and more accurate voice recognition, improving your chances of getting an accurate answer from Siri.


To manually control Siri, you’ll need to update to iOS 7.1. Press and hold the home button until the waveform appears and the words “How can I help you?” appears on the display. Instead of releasing the home button, continue to hold it until you are finishing speaking. Release it when you have asked your question and Siri will immediately respond or at a minumum, start to offer alternatives to further your search.

Home button surround

Other changes to Siri in iOS 7.1 include more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese.

iOS 7.1 has a fairly good list of features, user interface refinements and so much more. Using manual control, now you can limit when Siri listens and this should help result in faster and more accurate responses.