The latest iPhones and iPads are now so power efficient that you can effectively say “Hey Siri” whenever you want and have instant hands-free access to your virtual assistant; but that’s not the case with some of Apple’s older devices. Those such as the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus require that you be tethered to a power source for Hey Siri to work.
Albeit inconvenient, the chips in the aforementioned devices aren’t as power-efficient as those found inside of devices today; consequently, always-on Hey Siri would have an adverse impact on your battery performance. But if battery life is no object to you, then you can forcefully-enable Hey Siri on these handsets with a free jailbreak tweak dubbed HeySiri by iOS developer Julio Verene.
Upon installing HeySiri, you can visit the tweak’s
preference pane in the Settings app to configure the tweak:
Here, you can:
- Toggle HeySiri on or off on demand
- Use an Activator action to manually toggle the
tweak on or off as you need
If you have Apple’s ‘Hey Siri’ option turned on in Settings → Siri, and you’ve also enabled the HeySiri tweak from its respective preference pane, then you should now to be able to mutter the words “Hey Siri” and invoke the Siri interface whether you’re connected to a power source or not. Cool, right?
But what of the drawbacks? – Apple disabled this feature on certain handsets with non-optimized hardware for a reason: to keep the battery draw to a minimum. After installing and using HeySiri, you might notice that your battery dies a bit faster; this is expected behavior.
Fortunately, that’s where the tweak’s built-in Activator support comes in handy. If you expect that you’ll need Hey Siri soon, then you can toggle the tweak on via Activator and access the virtual assistant with your voice when required. When you no longer need Hey Siri, you can toggle the tweak off via Activator and return to a power-saving state.
If you’re already using a handset that’s newer than the iPhone 6, such as the iPhone 6s or later, then you won’t need the HeySiri tweak as your device already supports untethered Hey Siri. Still, it’s comforting to see the jailbreak community pick up support for legacy devices that Apple explicitly gimped right out of the box due to power constraints.