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How to use Siri, the voice assistant in iOS 13 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

How to use Siri, the voice assistant in iOS 13 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

In this article

Examples of what Siri can do
How to enable Siri
How to launch Siri
Examples of using Siri
Typing queries
Siri settings

Examples of what Siri can do

You can ask Siri to perform a wide variety of tasks such as:

  • Make phone calls and Facetime calls
  • Send emails and text messages
  • Set calendar events and reminders
  • Set alarms and timers
  • Get weather forecasts
  • Give directions on Apple Maps
  • Perform calculations
  • Open applications
  • Open accessibility options
  • Turn on certain accessibility features such as VoiceOver.
  • Change setting on your device such as changing the brightness and volume or toggling Wi-Fi on or off.
  • Perform web searches
  • Play music, including particular artists, songs or albums
  • Control smart home devices
  • Siri now also works with a growing number of third-party apps such as Skype, Pinterest and Paypal

How to enable Siri

If you didn’t enable Siri when you first set up your device, follow these steps to get it up and running.

  1. Open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Siri & Search from the list.
  3. Siri can be activated in two ways, by saying the “Hey Siri” command
    or
    • On iPhones with Face ID: Press and hold the Side (power) button until the “What can I help you with” screen appears.
    • On devices with a Home button: Press and hold the Home button until the “What can I help you with” screen appears.
  4. Select Listen for “Hey Siri” and/or Press Home for Siri to set the toggle switch to On.

    Note: On iPhones with Face ID you will only see an option for “Hey Siri” here. Once that has been set up you can also use the Side button to launch Siri.
  5. If you chose to enable Listen for “Hey Siri” you’ll be guided through the set-up process to help Siri recognise your voice. This involves speaking phrases such as “Hey Siri” and  “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?”.

How to launch Siri

  1. To launch Siri:
  2. Say “Hey Siri” (if Hey Siri is enabled) 
    or
    • On iPhones with Face ID: Press and hold the Side (power) button until the “What can I help you with” screen appears.
    • On devices with a Home button: Press and hold the Home button until the “What can I help you with” screen appears.
  3. You can now ask your query. In our example, below, we asked Siri "What time is it".
  4. Siri gives a spoken and visual response (which you can see in the third panel).

Tip: If you want to ask another query while Siri is still open, tap the animated Siri icon at the bottom of the screen.

“Hey Siri, what can you do?”

To find out more about what ‘Siri’ is capable of doing on your device, just launch ‘Siri’ and ask, “What can you do?”.  Siri will show you a list of apps it is able to interact with.

Tap any app name to find out how Siri can interact with it and examples of how to phrase your queries.

Example of using Siri

Add a new Calendar event

  1. Launch Siri.
  2. Say, “Add a calendar event for dentist appointment”.
  3. Siri will ask for the date and time of your appointment.
  4. In our example, we give the details as ‘21st July at 2.30pm’.
  5. Siri will ask you to confirm these details are correct.
  6. Say “Yes” or select the Confirm button on the screen.

Ask for directions

When you ask for directions, Siri opens the Apple Maps app showing your route.

  1. Launch Siri.
  2. Say, “Give me directions to London”.
  3. Siri will open the Apple Maps app with the route plotted. 
  4. Because we only asked for the end destination, Siri used our current location as the starting point.

Typing queries

If you would prefer to type your queries to Siri instead of speaking them, you need to enable Type to Siri in Accessibility settings.

  1. Open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, scroll to the bottom and select Siri.
  4. On the Siri screen, select Type to Siri to set the toggle switch to On.
  5. Note: The Voice Feedback settings are explained in the Siri settings section below.

Using Type to Siri

  1. Launch Siri by:
    • On iPhones with Face ID: Press and hold the Side (power) button until the “What can I help you with” screen appears.
    • On devices with a Home button: Press and hold the Home button until the “What can I help you with” screen appears.
  2. Type your query into the search box. In our example, we ask Siri to set a timer.
  3. Tap Done when you have finished typing.
  4. Siri will confirm a timer has been set.
  5. If you would like to ask another query while Siri is open, select the search box at the bottom of the screen to bring up the keyboard.

Siri settings

To open the Siri settings:

  1. Open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Siri & Search from the list.
  3. You can now edit them followings settings:

Use Siri when the device is locked.

If you want to be able to use Siri even when you’re device is locked, select Allow Siri When Locked to set the toggle switch to On. You’ll then need to enter you passcode to allow it.

Choose the language Siri uses

If you want to change the language Siri uses, select Language and choose from the options. Selecting a new language turns off “Hey Siri” so you will need to set it up again.

Choose the voice for Siri

  1. Select Siri Voice.
  2. On the next screen, select which accent you would like Siri to use.
  3. Select if you would like a male or female voice.

Voice Feedback

By default, when Siri answers your queries you will receive both spoken and visual, on-screen feedback. To change this, select Voice Feedback and choose from the options:

  • Always On: Receive spoken and visual feedback, even when your phone is in silent mode.
  • Control with Ring Switch: When your phone is in silent mode you will only receive on-screen feedback. Note: You will still receive spoken feedback if you use the “Hey Siri” command or when your device is connected to a Bluetooth audio device, headphones, or CarPlay.
  • Hands-Free Only - You will only receive spoken feedback when you use the “Hey Siri” command or if your device is connected to a Bluetooth audio device, headphones or CarPlay.

Choose the contact information that Siri uses to personalise location-based answers

  1. Select My Information.
  2. Select your contact information from the list of contacts.

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