Apple unveiled iOS 11 at yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference, putting emphasis on dozens upon dozens of new features and enhancements that advance the company’s mobile software platform powering iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

It includes a new Accessibility feature, “Type to Siri,” that allows you to type something to Siri using the virtual keyboard instead of needing to issue voice-based commands, which may be a better solution in certain scenarios when speaking in public isn’t appropriate.

Of course, iOS 10 already includes a “Tap to Edit” feature for fixing mispronounced Siri queries using the keyboard. With Type to Siri, invoking the personal assistant by holding the Home button always brings up the virtual keyboard, allowing you to type something to Siri directly.

To enable this new feature in iOS 11, go to Settings → General → Accessibility → Siri, then flip the switch Type to Siri to the ON position. Now when you press the Home button, Siri will listen for keyboard input instead of your voice.

Just type away your query and hit Return on the keyboard. Siri answers your question like it normally would, presenting results via iOS 11’s beautifully revamped result cards.

Of course, you can also tap the microphone icon on the keyboard if you’d like to use iOS’s speech-to-text feature, called Dictation, to issue a quick voice command without having to disable the Type to Siri feature in Settings.

To edit your query at any time, pull down on search results to reveal the “Tap to Edit” link.

This new Accessibility feature could be useful when speaking to Siri isn’t appropriate (like when you’re at the library) or socially acceptable quite yet.

TUTORIAL: How to edit your Siri queries using the keyboard

Aside from “Tap to Edit”, the current iOS 10 edition lets you fix mispronounced Siri queries hands-free via AI-powered “Maybe You Said” smart suggestions.

“Tap to Edit” and “Maybe You Said” are both available from Siri search results on iOS 11, whether or not the new Type to Siri accessibility feature has been enabled.

How do you like Type to Siri on iOS 11?

  • Iskren Donev

    It is not implemented exactly as how I expected, but I would still call this a win.

    • Yeah, it’s a bummer that you have to use one method or the other in settings and there isn’t a simple way to switch between them on SIRI’s screen.

      I suppose you can still use voice dictation, but that involves pressing the mic button, pressing it again when done talking, pressing the keyboard button and then pressing the done button. In that sense it’s almost easier to just go back into settings and relaunch SIRI.

      Personally I would have preferred either a keyboard icon on SIRI’s screen in the lower right hand corner (opposite the help icon) or maybe a setting that would make SIRI not talk at all and default to keyboard input if the phone is on silent so I could, with a flip of a switch, use SIRI either conversationally or text only.

      • Iskren Donev

        My dream interaction was to bootstrap Siri to Spotlight. Basically you invoke Spotlight (maybe make it available through a gesture system-wide) and then you just type in your query to Siri. The hold-Home-to-talk-to-Siri would continue to work just like before.

  • Up Stream

    This is definitely the best thing that has happen to Siri, I don’t use siri only because I don’t want or can’t speak out loud often when using my device

  • This was possible since iOS 5. All you had to do is say something to Siri, and then edit your text. Siri will respond again to the new inquiry.

    • Timothy

      From the article: “Of course, iOS 10 already includes a “Tap to Edit” feature for fixing mispronounced Siri queries using the keyboard. With Type to Siri, invoking the personal assistant by holding the Home button always brings up the virtual keyboard, allowing you to type something to Siri directly.”