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iPhone and iPod touch: Tips for using Voice Control

Here are some tips for using Voice Control. Voice Control is available on iPhone 3GS and later and iPod touch (3rd generation) and later.

Using the microphone

  • Use the microphone on your headset. You can also use the built-in microphone.1 You can use a Bluetooth headset as well, or a compatible Bluetooth car-kit.
  • For best results when you're using headphones with a built-in microphone, let the cord with the built-in microphone hang freely. Avoid holding the cord with the microphone or bringing it closer to your mouth. When the headphones are in your ear and the cord dangles freely, the microphone is in the optimum position.
  • For best results when you're using the built-in microphone on iPhone, hold the device as if you were on a telephone call. If holding the device in front of yourself, you can hold it up to 12 inches away with the built-in microphone facing you.
  • You can use the built-in microphone on iPod touch (4th generation) by holding the device in front of you, as if making a FaceTime call.
  • If you are using a carrying case and experiencing some issues with Voice Control, the microphone may be blocked. Try removing the carrying case.

When to speak

  • After you press and hold the Home button, you will be prompted by an audible tone to speak a command.
  • When using a Bluetooth headset, press and hold the "call" button until the Voice Control screen appears.
  • Always wait until the prompt is complete before you start speaking. Any words you speak while the device is giving the prompt will be ignored.
  • Be ready to speak when the beep has completed. Long pauses may cause unexpected results.

For voice dialing (iPhone only)

  • Some short names may be too similar and may be hard to distinguish by themselves. For best results with these kinds of names, try saying both the first and last name.
  • If you're having difficulties getting the device to recognize a particular name, try editing the contact, tap Add Field, and add a unique nick name.
  • Avoid possessive names. Instead of saying "call Frank's mobile" try "call Frank on his mobile."

For FaceTime

  • Some short names may sound too similar to each other, making them hard to distinguish by themselves. For best results with these names, try saying both the first and last name.
  • If you're having difficulty getting the device to recognize a particular name, try editing the contact: Tap Add Field and add a unique nickname.
  • Avoid possessive names. Instead of saying "FaceTime Frank's mobile," try "FaceTime Frank on his mobile."

For music playback

  • You can play all songs in an album, playlist, or by an artist. The device will not recognize commands to play a particular song.
  • If you can't get the device to recognize the album or artist name, try telling it to play a particular playlist.
  • If an artist has "The" in the name, make sure you say it.

Additional Information

Using Voice Control on iPhone 4S and later

If Siri2 is turned on, you will be unable to use standard Voice Control. To use Voice Control, turn Siri off in Settings > General > Siri.

Please see these articles for more information about Siri:

Language tips

Try these tips when using Voice Control with the following languages:

Polish and Russian

  • Names must be spoken in nominative case.

Finnish

  • Say "soita" (call) or "valitse" (dial) then say the number. When voice dialing a number, say each digit separately (for example, say "four one five, five five five, one two one two"). For 8 and 9, use "kahdeksan" and "yhdeksän" ("kasi" and "ysi" are not recognized).

Japanese

  • In Contacts, fill in the phonetic fields for the first and last names before using Voice Control to call contacts.
  • You can say the first, last, or nickname, but for best results say the full name (last + first). If you don't say the full name, and you have more than one contact with that name, iPhone asks which of those contacts you want to call.

For more information, see the iPhone User Guide in your language.

Notes:

1. A built-in microphone is not available on iPod touch (3rd generation). If voice control is unable to clearly understand what you are saying, make sure your microphones are not blocked.

All models

  • If you are using a protective case or film, try removing it.
  • Try turning your device off and then on again.

iPod touch (4th generation)

Verify that the mic near the rear camera is not blocked.

iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S

Verify that the bottom microphone, located to the left of the dock connector, is not blocked.

iPhone 5

Verify that both the mic in the receiver opening and the mic near the rear camera are not blocked.

2. Siri requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply. Please see this article for more information.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Sep 24, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Sep 24, 2012
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