Siri voice commands for screen recording are notably absent from iOS 16.5

Apple tested new voice commands for Siri to start and stop screen recording, but the feature has remained notably absent from the public release of iOS 16.5.

iPhone screenshot showing the lock screen with the Siri command at the bottom to start a screen recording
Starting a screen recording hands-free | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB
  • Apple was testing new Siri commands to instantly record the screen in iOS 16.5 but removed the feature from the public release without explanation.
  • Invoking screen recordings on the iPhone and iPad still requires manual intervention. We’ll see if future updates bring this feature back.

Siri commands for screen recording absent from iOS 16.5

Jeff Benjamin of 9to5Mac noticed that the first developer beta of iOS 16.5 included the ability to screen record hands-free with a pair of new Siri voice commands:

  • “Hey Siri, start screen recording.”
  • “Hey Siri, stop screen recording.”

You could use these commands to start/stop screen recording instantly without displaying the countdown timer. As these commands got removed in later betas, people speculated Apple wanted to make enhancements to the feature before re-introducing it but it’s remained absent from the public release of iOS 16.5.

Some beta testers reported that variations of the above phrases would also do the trick, too, such as “Hey, Siri record my screen” and some such. Others, however, underscored that the user must utter the exact phrase to trigger screen recording.

Hands-free screen recording shouldn’t be this hard

We can see how making screen recording with your voice might be helpful.

Currently, you must open the Control Center, touch the Screen Recording icon and wait for the three-second countdown.  To stop recording, you must again open the Control Center and hit the Screen Recoding icon or touch the red status bar or Dynamic Island at the top of the screen and choose the stop command.

All those steps could be replaced with a simple voice command.

Hopefully, this feature will re-appear in subsequent releases unless Apple has made the decision to pull it entirely. Adding two simple voice commands sounds like a piece of cake until you read the New York Times report about the state of Siri’s code, which describes how painfully difficult it is for Apple’s engineers to add even the simplest voice commands to the Siri vocabulary,

Until Apple gets this done, you’ll need to tap your way into the Control Center to start and stop recording a video of whatever is displayed on your iPhone’s screen.