Why won’t Siri read me web pages?

Siri has been getting better at answering questions and transcribing messages. I’ve never been the biggest fan of voice assistants. I’ve found that they have frequently required me to edit or correct messages or just flat out return incorrect results. I’ve used Siri, Alexa, and the Google voice assistant to varying degrees of success.

It’s getting better all the time —The Beatles

About a year ago, I was walking in Hayes Valley in San Francisco and I stumbled upon the Google pop-up donut shop where I won a Google Home smart speaker. I enjoy it, mostly I ask it to play music and or answer stupid questions of which it suceeds only half the time. Google finally added the ability to bluetooth pair it with external speakers a few months ago, so that is a huge step up for sound quality for those of us who still have a bazillion speakers and stereos around the house. It also brings it a bit more towards feature parity with the Amazon Echo which has bluetooth pairing AND a traditional headphone jack. Want to know how all these assistants stack up?

One of my favorite uses of the Google Home is to ask it, “Hey Google, tell me the news” and listen the latest news while I get ready for the day or eat breakfast. The Google Home mobile app allows you to configure which news channels you keep on tap.  Siri isn’t quite so convenient, so when I ask it things it often produces web pages and then doesn’t read them. So today, I’m making toast and ask, “Hey Siri, tell me about toast”. I’ve been reading  a number of long articles this morning and don’t feel like reading more, but Siri just gives me another long article to read. So, I have Siri read the article for me.  Here’s how to do it:

From your phone or iPad, go to:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech

  • Turn on the “Speak Screen” option
  • Next, when you open a web page or Siri returns a web page:
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers
  • Press play to have Siri read you the page.
  • Enjoy your coffee and avocado toast.


An agouti visits our porch at El Establo near the Monte Verde cloud forest. Agoutis are related to guinea pigs but are much larger and have longer legs. #trekarooing #ilviaggiocr #visitcostarica #costarica #thisiscostarica #monteverdecloudforest
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Frank Lloyd Wright in San Francisco

This Frank Lloyd Wright interior that I used to work next to is currently the Isaia Napoli tailor shop. It served as a prototype for his iconic spiral ramp at the New York Guggenheim. #architecture #franklloydwright
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snowy plovers

It’s always a treat to encounter the threatened Western Snowy Plovers who winter on the beaches of Pacifica. The plovers have made a comeback in recent years through the efforts of local schoolchildren and audubon chapters. #trekarooing #pacifica #pcfca #visitcalifornia #audubon #snowyplover #birds #birdsofinstagram #optoutside
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Sharp Park, Pacifica, CA – Highway 1

Sharp Park at dusk. #trekarooing #pacifica #pcfca #visitcalifornia #californiaroute1
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International Sloth Day

It’s International Sloth Day! Behold, Mr. Bradypus Variegatus, the three-toed sloth. Saw this guy hanging out by the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park. Sloths are the slowest animals in the world (the 2 toed ones are even slower). Sloths eat leaves, sleep in trees for 20 hours a day, and come down to do their duty. 🙂 #trekarooing #InternationalSlothDay
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Monte Verde cloud forest in the morning

It’s foggy today. Reminding me of… The misty morning of the Monte Verde cloud forest brings about the contemplative. #trekarooing #ilviaggiocr #puravida #costarica #visitcostarica #thisiscostarica #familytrip #familytravel #roadschool #roadschooling #takeyourkidseverywhere
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NorCal fires

Night shift at the New Life Evacuation Center. Floored by the community support and the fact that they went from never having done this to 280+ evacuees. #DoOneThing #sonomastrong #norcalfires
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Pacifica Beach

Nary a cloud in the sky on this first day of fall. Ok, maybe just one. #trekarooing #pcfca #pacifica
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Monte San Savino, Italy

There is beauty everywhere when you take the time to pause. Thinking of Monte San Savino as I accomplish the mundane task of laundry today. #trekarooing #montesansavino #familytrip #familytravel #travelwithkids #italy #italia #tuscany #latergram
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