iOS 10 Brings Intelligent “Hey Siri” Activation When Using Multiple Devices


Alongside third-party app integration, Apple will add other improvements to Siri with iOS 10 when it launches this fall. According to a reader tip sent to 9to5Mac, iOS 10 seems to finally solve the “Hey Siri” issue, which means not all, but only one of your devices will be listening.

Hey siri

As noted by the tipster, with iOS 10 on board, “an iPhone 6s is smart enough to stop listening for voice input if an iPad Pro is also listening.”

The catch is: both devices wake up at the “Hey Siri” command, but as one of them starts recognizing the voice input, apparently it notifies other nearby devices to stop listening. You can see the “Hey Siri” voice command in action with an iPhone and iPad put side by side in the video inserted below.

As you can see, both devices were listening, but one of them took the lead and informed the other device to cancel Siri. This obviously prompts various questions: how does the iPad seen in the video tell the iPhone to stop listening and what decides which device wins the query?

In 9to5Mac’s testing, the iPad dominated the iPhone, which lead them to speculate that the tablet’s A9X processor makes it faster at processing voice and faster to signal cancellations on other nearby devices.


  • Ashley Mann

    This is a great idea. But it wouldn’t do me any good. I stopped using wifi and data on my iPhone and use data only on my iPad. I get a lot better battery life on my iPhone now and the iPad handles FaceTime, Siri and iMessage just fine for me.

  • winnertakesteve

    i’m just legit curious, what do you use the iPhone for if you turn off wifi and cellular data? just a normal phone + local music player? also thank goodness for this feature in iOS 10. the double device response actually makes me avoid using siri in a lot of cases!

  • Mike LaPlante

    This was something that needed to be done. Great idea. Way to go Apple!

  • Brad Fortin

    I think, similar to Auto Unlock, this will use Bluetooth LE.

  • Ashley Mann

    I just use my iPhone as a phone, text and calls. When I was using my iPhone for everything, it would die around 1:30 pm and I was stuck sometimes with no way to charge it. Now I use my iPad for everything including music and I can get to about 5 to 5:30pm. This weekend I bought another iPad to get me through from 5 to 5:30 and for the rest of the night. It means carrying three devices but I don’t care. Whatever it takes to get through an entire day and night without worrying about charging.

    When the iPhone 7 comes out I’m going to get 3. Morning, afternoon and night iPhones. im not joking.

  • Big Bad Mamoo

    @winnertakesteve:disqus “im not joking” I don’t believe it! 😛