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Complete guide to Siri: How to set up Siri in iOS 9 & train it to recognise your voice

David Price | Oct. 26, 2015
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.

For Apple Watch owners, Siri is getting better in WatchOS 2, which is expected to arrive alongside iOS 9 later this year. You'll be able to use it to start a workout, find out transit directions and more.

Plus, in iOS 8.4, which comes with Apple's new Apple Music service on 30 June, you'll be able to use Siri to control what you listen to in much more intuitive and useful ways. For instance, you'll be able to ask Siri to "play the top songs from 1982," "Play more songs like this," "Add the new Blur album to my library," or "After this song, play They Want My Soul." You'll need to sign up to Apple Music, which will cost £9.99 per month after the first free months, which are free.

How to set up Siri: Get started with Siri voice commands

Getting started with Siri couldn't be easier. Simply press and hold the Home button. The background will blur, you'll hear a 'ba-ding' noise and 'What can I help you with?' appears onscreen. You should also see a wavy white line at the bottom of the screen.

Simply speak your request into the iPad or iPhone. When you've finished speaking, the white line turns into a round microphone icon and Siri will get back to you with an answer. Sometimes it takes Siri a few moments to think about the answer, but it's a lot faster than it used to be, particularly now that iOS 8.3 has arrived.

You can also manually control how long Siri listens to you for, rather than waiting for it to detect that you've stopped speaking. To do this, hold down the Home button while you say your command or ask a question, and release it when you've finished.

Siri works by recording your voice and sending it to a server that interprets what you've said and returns plain text. If you haven't got an internet connection, Siri won't work.

In the UK, the male Siri voice was updated in iOS 7.1 to sound less robotic and more natural, and a new female voice option was added. You can switch Siri's gender to female by going to Settings > General > Siri and tapping Voice Gender.

Siri in iOS 8: How to change Siri's gender

You can ask Siri all sorts of things, and the more you use Siri the more accurate it becomes. You soon become aware of just how useful it can be, and what its boundaries are. It knows a lot about weather, restaurants, films and football, for example, but nothing about Formula One.


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