Palm-sized black BlueAnt S4 speakerphone with clip on back, sitting in front of a laptop.

Hands-free iPhone Activation With iOS 7

At the recent World Wide Developers Conference Apple had a lot to say about the upcoming iOS 8. There are many exciting enhancements coming with iOS 8 and one of them is the ability to use Siri completely hands-free without having to press the physical home button or the virtual one in AssistiveTouch. A simple “Hey, Siri” will bring up your favorite virtual assistant ready to take your requests as long as your iOS device is plugged in (subject to change hopefully). But you don’t have to wait for iOS 8 to have that capability…

For quite some time now a Bluetooth speakerphone called the “BlueAnt S4” has been available and it does essentially the same thing – with no need for your iOS device to be plugged into anything. I’ve had a first-generation S4 for a few years and when I saw the announcement about hands-free Siri it occurred to me that other people might be interested in having this capability. The apparently improved second-generation S4 has been available for a little while now although you can still get the first generation one if you look hard enough and want to save a few bucks. Mine has worked for a few years despite being dropped a few times.

First you must pair your iPhone with the BlueAnt S4 via Bluetooth like you would any other Bluetooth device. The BlueAnt S4 is intended to be used in a car, hooked up to the visor on the driver side but it works perfectly fine everywhere else. In fact the attachment that allows you to hang it from the visor in the car makes it possible to mount it in many other places as well like a bed rail or even a wheelchair arm rest. Like any other Bluetooth device it must stay in the range of your iPhone to work with it. To activate it you simply say “BlueAnt speak to me” to which you will hear the response “say a command”. The BlueAnt has some of its own onboard commands like changing the sensitivity settings and so forth but the real usefulness of it comes into play when you bring Siri into the mix by saying “phone commands”. This will bring up the familiar Siri prompt sound through the BlueAnt’s speaker and then you can start issuing requests to Siri as usual.

Next page >

Leave a Reply

Your comment may be held up by our moderation or anti-spam software: please be patient if your comment does not immediately appear. You can include some HTML in comments, but including links or web addresses makes it more likely your comment will be delayed by moderation. Please stick to the comment policy.