Use Announce Messages with Siri to hear messages in AirPods

On iOS 13.2, Siri can announce his incoming messages and read them. This is the kind of feature that is so useful and obvious that it seems that it should have always been there. It's called Announce messages with Siri, and it does exactly that.

Here is how to set it up and use it

How to activate Advertise messages with Siri

First, a couple of warnings. To use Advertise messages with Siri, you will need to have:

Setting it up is easy. The first time you open your AirPods case after the iOS 13.2 update, a panel will appear on the iPhone screen, asking if you want to use Advertise messages with Siri. Touch to allow it and you will be most of the way. You can also activate it manually in Settings> Siri and search> Announce messages .

Once activated, Siri will read any incoming message on your AirPods. And you can also answer using Siri. Composing and sending messages through Siri is available to anyone, even if you use third-party headphones, as we will see in a moment.

How to choose which senders Siri will announce

You probably don't want Siri to read all incoming messages, so the next thing to do is go to the application Settings . There, you will find the configuration Announce messages with Siri .

Announce messages with Siri.
Photo: Cult of Mac

At the top of this configuration is a switch to enable and disable Advertise messages with Siri. This is where you come from if you missed that original popup. And below this is a list of ad options:

  • All
  • Recent
  • All contacts
  • Favorites

All self-explanatory. Recent is useful, as it allows you to listen to messages from your current conversations. All contacts allows messages from anyone in your address book.

Favorites is my favorite option. This uses your favorites from your phone contacts. You can see this list within the Telephone application, under the left-most tab (the one marked with a star). Here, you can edit and add to the list by touching Edit or +.

How to send a message using Siri

As mentioned earlier, any iPhone user can send messages simply by talking to Siri. You don't need Apple's sophisticated disposable AirPods to do it.

Send a message using Siri, from any old iPhone.
Photo: Cult of Mac

To compose and send an iMessage, simply invoke Siri (using Hey Siri, or by pressing the Siri activation button / shortcut on your connected Bluetooth headset). Then say something like "Send a message to Charlie." Then, you will be asked to give a message. Ahead. Once this is done, Siri will show you the message and ask if you want to send it. Say "Yes", or the equivalent, to send it.

If you are doing this with the headphones, Siri will read your message first. This allows you to verify that you failed to spoil the transcript.

Not only iMessage

At this time, only your incoming iMessages will work with Announce Messages with Siri. But any other messaging application can add compatibility. You can have a WhatsApp or Telegram conversation completely through voice, provided that these services add the function to your own applications. You will still need some of Apple's headphones to do it, but still. It is a great feature


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