Our complete guide to Siri explains how to use Siri, details all the Siri features and commands (including iOS 9) and helps you get more out of Siri on your iPhone or iPad.
Using Siri, Apple's voice assistant, you can speak commands to your iPad or iPhone and have it do your bidding. To activate Siri, hold down the Home button on your compatible iPad or iPhone (iPhone 4S or newer, iPad 3 or newer, all generations of iPad mini and iPod touch 5th gen or newer), hold down the control button on your earphones, or if you've already set it up, say "Hey Siri."
Siri is constantly improving: it became faster and more reliable than ever with iOS 7 and iOS 7.1, gaining new features and a female voice for the UK, and iOS 8 added music identification, "'Hey Siri!" voice activation and real-time feedback of the words Siri thinks you're saying. Then, with iOS 9, Apple introduced new Proactive features in iOS 9 to make Siri contextually aware, and make the Hey Siri feature even better. And now that the Apple Watch is here, Apple is working even harder to improve Siri, as it's one of the key ways of interacting with the smartwatch.
Siri is a massive leap forward over old-fashioned speech recognition. This used to require a strict vocabulary and couldn't do very much. Worse still, for non-Americans, voice recognition struggled with European, Australian and other accents.
Siri doesn't require a strict vocabulary, and it'll generally figure out what you're trying to say. That makes interacting with it seem much more natural. It also works pretty well with a range of accents, and has American, British and Australian settings, as well as French, German, Italian, Spanish and more. The iOS 8.3 update introduced new languages including Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Swedish, Turkish and Portuguese.
Siri is comprehensive. It's tied into Messages, Calendar, Music, Reminders, Maps, Mail, Weather, Stocks, Clock, Contacts, Notes and Safari. It's also linked to Wolfram Alpha, the computational knowledge engine that can provide answers to numerous factual questions, and Yelp, the directory of local businesses.
Siri is also capable of searching Twitter and adjusting Settings, and it can perform a web search for you. These days it uses Bing as the default search engine, but specifically asking Siri to "Google" something results in it using Google instead.
How to set up Siri in iOS 9 and train it to recognise your voice
With iOS 9 and the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple has introduced always-on "Hey Siri," which means that you'll be able to say "Hey Siri" at any time even when your iPhone is unplugged to allow you to go completely hands-free. It's a helpful feature, but as more and more people start using the feature it could get very annoying if your iPhone answered to everyone. Here, we show you how to set up Siri and train it to recognise your voice.
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