An old wive’s tale about an iPhone “hack” has resurfaced online, and people are reminding everyone what happens when you tell Siri “17” and why you should never do it in the first place.
In 2019, there were rumors that if you told Siri “17,” it would increase your battery life. Naturally, the idea of something so simple as extending battery life without needing a charger intrigued a ton of people — so many that, at the time, “what happens when you tell Siri 17” was the third Google suggestion to pop up when you searched “what happens.”
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.”
To help tackle this, the Apple developers programmed your iPhone to call the local emergency number automatically, even if you say the code for your home country.
So saying ‘911’ in France will get you immediate help in France. Likewise, speaking ’17’ will do the same in the U.S. Because it is an emergency number in many other countries.
Since its introduction, the feature has been used for jokes and playing pranks on people. 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 several other African countries.
To prevent users from accidentally dialing emergency services, Apple has updated iOS, including a warning to double-check whether you want to go ahead and call the number.