Kevin Chao demonstrates the Siri virtual assistant app for the iPhone. Simply open Siri, press the speech button, ask your phone for help with something and this app will get the requested information for you.
If you are not wearing earbuds, headphones or a Bluetooth headset while using Siri, follow these steps to make sure VoiceOver does not interfere:
- Flick to the “speech” button or touch it near the lower-righthand corner of the screen.
- Double tap with three fingers to mute the speech from VoiceOver.
- Double tap to hear the beep indicating you may start talking.
- Ask your question and wait for the beep indicating Siri has stopped listening.
- Double tap with three fingers to unmute and resume speech from VoiceOver.
- Flick around the screen to locate the information that answers your question.
Apple has owned this app for at least six months. While Siri is reasonably accessible now, it does contain poorly-labeled buttons, VoiceOver easily interferes with the user’s ability to dictate questions and there is a general lack of Apple’s typically thoughtful accessible design considerations in the user interface for this app. We hope that, as Apple updates and possibly integrates Siri’s technology into iOS, the company will add the finishing touches to its accessibility along the way.