Siri amazingly got worse with iOS 15 — here’s how

Siri can no longer send emails and other missing commands
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple promises big improvements for Siri in iOS 15, with the digital assistant adding better contextual understanding and the ability to share onscreen content. But Siri seems to have forgotten how to take care of some other basic tasks — and their omission is a puzzling one.

Siri has seemingly lost the ability to check your call history, play voicemail messages and send emails. That's according to MacRumors which has detailed the full list of previous Siri capabilities that are now MIA. We've verified the missing capabilities on an iPhone 11 Pro Max running the iOS 15.1 beta.

Here's the specific list of tasks that Siri no longer performs.

  • Do I have any voicemails?
  • Play my voicemail messages
  • Check my call history
  • Check my recent calls
  • Who called me?
  • Send an email
  • Send an email to [person's name]

Ask Siri to send an email, for example, and you'll get a "Sorry, I can't help with that message." You also have the option of tapping a button to open the Mail app. A similar message appears for the missing call history and voicemail features. You can get Siri to play your most recent voicemail by asking the assistant to play your last voicemail, however.

The absence of these commands is annoying enough if you counted on them as part of your workflow. If you're an iPhone user with impaired vision, though, having the ability to launch emails and check calls with your voice is critical. MacRumors links to an AppleVis forum where users are detailing how the missing Siri commands are impacting them.

Adding to the mystery of what happened to Siri is that this doesn't appear to be tied to the iOS 15 update. Users still running iOS 14 have hit the same problem with the voice assistant. And we can verify that, too — on an iPhone XR running the latest version of iOS 14, Siri wouldn't check call history or send an email.

The irony here is that with iOS 15, Apple touts the smartest version of Siri ever. Requests now take place on the phone itself, which makes your Siri queries faster and more secure. Additional features let you share items like photos, podcasts, Map locations and other content just by telling Siri to share it with a specific person in your contacts. Siri is also better at understanding request context, making it easier to ask the assistant follow-up questions when you're asking about locations, operating hours and more.

As nice as those additions are, though, they're not very useful if Siri can't handle the basics, and that's the situation we seem to be in now. Apple hasn't told MacRumors yet if the removed Siri skills are intentional or whether this is a bug that will be fixed in a future update. We're hoping that it turns out to be the latter.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

  • mark_887797
    Apple should just abandon both Siri and Apple Maps and stick with Google. Both have become inferior with the iOS 15 update. Of course, Timmy will say you're talking to Siri all wrong or another lame excuse to dismiss the inadequacies of these to features.