Your iPhone can announce notifications in circumstances where you’re unable to see your screen. This can be useful when you’re listening to music on your AirPods or Beats headphones, but it can be annoying.
You can disable the feature completely, but you also have a few other options to make it less noisy. You can instead reduce the number of notifications your iPhone reads or have it only read notifications while you’re driving. Here’s how.
When enabled, this feature will make use of Siri to announce incoming notifications, including messages and calendar appointments. You can also choose to announce notifications from third-party apps.
To stop your iPhone from reading notifications over your AirPods, head to Settings > Notifications > Announce Notifications.
To turn the feature off in its entirety, disable “Announce Notifications.” The feature will be disabled both for headphone use or when you’re using CarPlay.
This setting applies to AirPods (second generation), AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Beats Solo Pro, Powerbeats Pro, and Powerbeats. It doesn’t work with standard Bluetooth headphones or external speakers.
If you want to leave the feature on while using CarPlay, you can enable “Announce Notifications” but disable the “Headphones” option. Tap on “CarPlay” to make further changes to the way incoming messages are announced.
Siri’s ability to announce notifications can be very handy, but its utility largely depends on how it’s used. It’s far less disruptive if you’re careful about which notifications are announced so that you aren’t getting unimportant notifications from apps like games or social networks.
You can customize which apps are announced under Settings > Notifications > Announce Notifications by scrolling down. You’ll see a list of installed apps. Tap on an app to enable or disable “Announce Notifications” for that particular software.
Some apps (like Calendar) let you differentiate between “Time Sensitive Notifications” and regular notifications so that only the most important alerts are read out. If you enable this setting for an app that doesn’t already have notifications enabled (in the Settings > Notifications menu), notifications will be turned on.
Notifications are arguably one of the most useful features on any smartphone. They alert you to important email messages and online developments in real-time, but striking a balance between being informed and being overwhelmed is essential.
Learning how to master iPhone notifications lets you eliminate annoying notifications and make sure you don’t miss the ones that matter. If you have an Apple Watch, it’s a good idea to fine-tune the notifications you receive on your Apple Watch too.