A client got in touch recently with a maddening problem. When he received texts on his iPhone, Messages displayed notifications for messages from everyone…except his wife! Needless to say, this was a problem. Since notifications appeared correctly for other people, it wasn’t related to overall settings. It turned out that he—or someone else, or iOS gremlins—had inadvertently enabled the Hide Alerts switch for the Messages conversation with his wife. To fix it, all he had to do was display the conversation in Messages, tap the i button at the upper right, and disable Hide Alerts. (In the Mac version of Messages, click the Details button and look for the Do Not Disturb checkbox.) It’s a good feature designed to let you mute a chatty group conversation, but it can cause stress if applied to the wrong conversation accidentally.
By default, Siri likes to chat, confirming what you say and giving you the results of your commands out loud when appropriate. If you don’t like that, go to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Feedback and select either Control with Ring Switch (the iPhone’s physical switch) or Control with Mute Setting (iPad) to make Siri be quiet when the device is muted. Alternatively, choose Hands-Free Only to silence Siri except when connected to Bluetooth, headphones, or CarPlay. Or just set Siri to whisper—hold the Home button to invoke Siri and then reduce the volume, which applies only to Siri’s voice.