An old wive’s tale about an iPhone “hack” has resurfaced online.
On the internet and social media, remarks from iPhone users asking others to say “17” to Siri and then see what happens were common. There are rumors that were flying around the internet in 2019 that if you whispered “seventeen” to your iPhone, it would magically increase the phone’s battery life.
Of course, the thought of something as straightforward as increasing battery life without a charger fascinated a ton of people. In fact, at the time, “what happens when you tell Siri 17” was the third Google recommendation that appeared when you searched “what happens.”
Sadly, the rumor turned out to be untrue.
Similarly to a similar controversy a few years ago, when people were encouraged to say ‘108’ for fun, neither of the numbers is something you should speak for the sake of it.
Because in reality, the hack doesn’t work and if you do tell Siri “17,” you will unwittingly be calling for emergency services.
According to the Siri User Guide website:
“Most countries around the world have different numbers to call if you get into trouble. But knowing which number to dial in your area if you’re traveling abroad is something most of us don’t consider when packing our cases for a trip away. To help tackle this, the Apple developers and programmed your iPhone to automatically call the local emergency number, even if you say the code for your home country.”
People in the US call 911 in case of an emergency, the emergency telephone number, however, is 17, in other nations. Because of this, Apple modified Siri so that, wherever you are in the globe, including the United States, if you tell her “seventeen,” you will immediately call the local emergency services.
The Siri User Guide added, “The feature has been used for jokes and playing pranks on people since its introduction. But we don’t recommend phoning the emergency services unless it’s vital, and we hope it’s something you’ll never have to use. Other numbers will trigger the same result, such as ‘Hey Siri, 14.’ 14 is the emergency number in Algeria and a number of other African countries.”
Even if they use their local number rather than the one that should be used in the country where they are now residing, if they take their iPhone outside of their home country and are visiting another location abroad, they will still be able to tell Siri to call in an emergency. It means that with this capability, Apple can assist users in connecting to emergency services from anywhere around the world.
Siri will know to call for help even if the person dials “911” or tells those digits to the virtual assistant, even if an American is visiting an African country for instance where locals dial “14” for an emergency.
However, Apple has updated the phone’s operating software to include a warning to check to see if the person intended to call in an emergency since internet users have “pranked” so many people by telling them to tell Siri “seventeen” and other emergency services numbers.
So, instead of taking prank calls from people who were duped by an online joke instructing them to whisper “17” to Siri, those workers will have more time to assist others who are actually in need, as Apple has been successful in preventing people from making unauthorized emergency calls by including an additional step in the procedure. This ensures that emergency dispatchers’ crucial resources are not squandered on unnecessary calls.