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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.

It's also much faster to ask Siri to access settings than it is to dive through the menu. You can just say "Change wallpaper" rather than opening Settings and tapping Wallpaper.

You will soon become impressed by Siri's ability to understand the context of conversations. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's magical. We asked Siri for suggestions for places to have lunch and it provided us with a list of nearby restaurants that serve lunch.

Talking to your iPad or iPhone is not much different from talking on your mobile phone. It's not appropriate in all contexts. If, for example, you're quietly reading in the library and need to set a reminder, you should use the Reminders app, not Siri. And if you're out in public, well, you can use Siri, but you do risk people giving you funny looks.

Apple's integration of Wolfram Alpha with Siri is a smart move. If you need answers to factual questions, such as the speed of light or the number of days until Christmas, the answer engine can provide the solution.

How to use Siri: How to use 'Hey Siri!'

A new feature added in iOS 8, which arrived in September 2014 is known as Hey Siri, and it's very sci-fi.

By saying those words ("Hey, Siri!"), you can activate Siri from a sleep state without pressing the Home button at all. The device will wake up, Siri will start, and it will listen out for your next command.

(Sadly this only works when the iPad or iPhone is plugged into a power supply - otherwise, presumably, your iDevice would burn through its battery supply from constantly listening out for the magic words.)

It's very cool, albeit not always incredibly reliable. The feature appears to be deactivated by default, so if it's not working (and remember that the device needs to be plugged in as well), try going to Settings > General > Siri and then slide the switch next to 'Allow "Hey Siri"' so that it's green. And of course, if you're concerned about battery life - or people keep passing your desk and saying "Hey Siri play Don't Stop Believin'" - you can deactivate it in the same options menu.

We've found that, while charging, Siri will sometimes get overexcited and think you've said Hey Siri, when actually you said nothing of the sort. You could accidentally call someone you're talking about this way, so be careful!

How to use Siri: Personal dictation

Siri can hunt down business, movie and sport information, as well as answer general questions.


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