So I figured out how to make Siri behave

nickdalzell1

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 8, 2019
700
284
One of the most common issues with my Watch Series 5 (and the first two months of my previous Series 3) was Siri/dictation failing 90% the time.

Raise to speak would often 'double-tap me' and dump back to the watch face after showing the command on screen, and do nothing. Often took three attempts before it finally obeyed.

Often I'd get a problem where she'd speak and her sentence was cut off abruptly, or the command would sit there showing "hmmm...Hold on....still trying....Sorry, I can't complete requests now"

What apparently was happening was the requests were failing/timing out before she could speak. So if I tried saying "Hey Siri turn the living room lights on" it's actually trying to both process the command via HomeKit while also trying to 'download the voice/response from cloud' and failing after a few seconds. Slow internet perhaps?

What I did was go into my router config (it's a NetGear NightHawk series) and in 'block sites' I added "appldnld.apple.com" to that list.

Now while this makes Siri sound a little generic (guessing it's using the offline voice pack vs. the cloud's) the responses are now instant. No more 'hmmmm...thinking about it...etc' issues. Turning lights on/off, setting alarms, texts, the works. Generic sounding and limited variability in responses (all lights on/off commands she says "OK. coming right up") but she works perfectly 100% the time and much faster. It's a trade-off I'm happy with. Dictation is equally faster. It's like Siri now does most of the processing locally and not depending on the cloud so much.

Now there's some drawbacks that don't affect me but might affect you:

1. You won't be able to download apps from the store or certain updates. I don't really care for this since I've downloaded every app I'd ever need for a lifetime, and don't care about updates.

2. Siri will sound a bit more robotic/generic than you might be accustomed to--any Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc on the same wifi network will also be this way. For me the tradeoff is faster/more reliable responses not quality of the voice. YMMV

3. Carrier updates and some location requests might also fail. You won't get some PRL updates and GPS might go wonky. At your home wifi this might not matter but again, be aware. There's more to that domain than simply forcing Siri to do more offline than online.
 
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Jxdawg

macrumors regular
Dec 17, 2019
147
129
Noticed that my issues with Siri not responding on OS6.1.1 was fixed with 6.1.2.
 

nickdalzell1

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 8, 2019
700
284
Siri was dumping back to watch face and lagging in responses ever since WatchOS 5. I think in my case it was a simple timeout issue re: my internet.
 

nickdalzell1

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 8, 2019
700
284
I think watchOS5 was on my Series 3 when I bought it in Sept. But the initial 'training' phase (well, the first three months) nothing worked right as far as Siri or Dictation went. I spent many nights searching and the real solution was 'give it time'.

My Series 3 is zippy on all fronts but my Series 5, especially if you have more than 6 apps in the dock, is laggy as heck and that makes things such as Siri ten times worse. Today I got 'dication failed' twice because of the RAM overload and my stand ring no longer notifies me when it's closed.

Not sure what is up with 6.1 and RAM management but it's awful. My iPhone 6S on iOS 13, in contrast, is very fluid and works perfectly fine. Maybe I lucked out there--iOS 12 was stuttery.
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors G3
Jan 17, 2013
8,741
14,280
Wales, United Kingdom
My Siri on my AW S5 was great until a few weeks ago. It fails 3 or 4 times on simple well known commands and it’s highly frustrating. I do need to get it replaced due to faulty speakers but am waiting until the week after next as I need the watch for an event I am doing.
 
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