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.

Brennan Pang

Brennan Pang is a Co-founder of Trekaroo. He is a father to 2 boys and a girl and loves exploring and adventure travel. A California kid who loves mountaineering, climbing, snowboarding, and biking everywhere. He has lived in a hut at a chicken farm in Zimbabwe, gotten amoebic dysentery while paddling a dugout tree in Madagascar, hiked to Everest base camp in winter, chilled with the giant tortoises of the Galapagos, and witnessed a fair number of volcanic eruptions. He spent six months traveling through Central and South America with his family and has enjoyed swimming with sharks and stingrays in Tahiti. Follow him on instagram at @overdare.


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