iOS: About Siri
Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls*, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back.
What is Siri?
Siri is the intelligent personal assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. It allows you to use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. But Siri isn't like traditional voice-recognition software that requires you to remember keywords and speak specific commands. Siri understands your natural speech, and it asks you questions if it needs more information to complete a task.
Siri is available on these devices:
- iPhone 4S or later
- iPad 3rd generation or later
- iPad mini
- iPod touch (5th generation)
How do I ask Siri something?
To talk to Siri, hold down the Home button and you'll hear two quick beeps and see "What can I help you with? on the screen. Just begin speaking. The audio wave moves across your screen, letting you know Siri is listening and processing your request. Once you've started a dialogue with Siri, tap the microphone icon to talk to it again.
There's more than one way to talk to Siri. Siri works with headphones and Bluetooth headsets. When you're using headphones with a remote and microphone, you can press and hold the center button to talk to Siri. With a Bluetooth headset, press and hold the call button to bring up Siri.
On iPhone, simply bring iPhone up to your ear when the screen is on. You'll hear two quick beeps to indicate that Siri is listening to you.
In a car that supports Eyes Free, you can also start a conversation with Siri by pressing a button on your steering wheel.
Siri waits for you to stop talking, but you can also tap the audio wave to tell Siri you're done talking. This is useful when there's a lot of background noise.
What happens after I ask Siri a question or ask it to do something?
When you finish speaking, Siri displays the text of what you said and provides a response. If Siri needs more information to complete a request, it will ask you a question. For example, if you say "Remind me," Siri will say "OK, just tell me what you want to be reminded about."
When you use earphones or a headset, Siri reads back text messages and email messages that you've dictated before you send them, and it reads back the subjects of reminders before you create them. This is especially helpful when you're driving and can't see the screen.
Do I have to say things a certain way to get Siri to respond?
No. You can speak to Siri as you would to a person — in a natural voice with a conversational tone. If you want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow, simply say "What will the weather be like tomorrow? Or "Does it look like rain tomorrow? Or even "Will I need an umbrella tomorrow? No matter how you ask, Siri will tell you the forecast.
When using Siri for dictation, say the punctuation marks you wish to have inserted as they are needed. For example, to dictate "Pick up the new iPad and suddenly, it’s clear", say "Pick up the new iPad and suddenly comma it’s clear period".
Does Siri work out of the box or do I have to teach it?
Siri works right out of the box, without any work on your part. And the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice. Siri uses voice recognition algorithms to categorize your voice into one of the dialects or accents it understands. As more people use Siri and it's exposed to more variations of a language, its overall recognition of dialects and accents will continue to improve, and Siri will work even better.
Siri also uses information from your contacts, music library, calendars, and reminders to better understand what you say. So it responds more accurately when you ask to make a phone call, play music, or create an appointment or reminder.
If you like, you can reset what Siri has learned about your voice by turning Siri off and then back on in Settings > General > Siri.
Can I change how Siri sounds?
New female and male voices will be available initially in U.S. English, French, and German. You can change the gender by going to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Gender. Your iOS device initially uses a compact voice for Siri. iOS will automatically download and install a more natural-sounding voice when you first connect to power and a Wi-Fi network.
What Siri can do for you
What types of things can I ask Siri about or ask it to do?
You can ask Siri to make a call, find a business and get directions, schedule reminders and meetings, search the web, and more. You can even ask Siri "What can you do for me? or tap the "?" in the left corner of the screen when you bring Siri up. You'll see examples of things Siri can do, along with ways you can ask for things.
With which apps does Siri work?
Siri works with almost all the built-in apps. And it's smart enough to figure out which apps to use to provide you with answers. It also uses Search and Location Services to help you with your requests. Here's a list of apps and services that Siri works with worldwide:
- World Clock
- Web search
- Wikipedia search
- Wolfram|Alpha (English only)
- Find My Friends
- Post on Facebook
- App launch
- Local search
How does Siri learn who I am?
If Siri knows who you are, it can use your information to better help you. To make sure Siri knows who you are, select your contact information in Settings > General > Siri > My Info.
Your information is used for questions like "How do I get home?" or "What good restaurants are near work?"
How does Siri learn about my key relationships?
Siri also helps you by learning about the key people in your life. The first time you ask Siri to call your sister, it will ask you who your sister is. That information is stored in Contacts along with other relationship information like "mom,' "husband,' and "grandma.'
How do location-based reminders work?
Because Siri knows your current location and other locations like "home and "work, it can remind you to do a certain task when you leave a location or arrive at a location. So if you tell Siri,"Remind me to call my wife when I leave the office, Siri does just that.
To turn off the ability for Siri to use your location, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and set the switch for Siri to Off. Regardless of how Locations Services is set for Siri, information about your location is not tracked or stored outside the phone.
Is Siri accessible to the blind and visually impaired?
Yes. VoiceOver, the screen reader built into iOS, can speak any text that's displayed in responses from Siri. You can navigate through the responses and have each one read to you. This includes the days of a weather forecast, the body of an email, the details of an answer from Wolfram|Alpha, and more.
Language support and availability
Siri understands and can speak the following languages:
- United States (English, Spanish)
- United Kingdom (English)
- Australia (English)
- France (French)
- Germany (German)
- Japan (Japanese)
- Canada (Canadian French, English)
- China (Mandarin)
- Hong Kong (Cantonese)
- Italy (Italian)
- Korea (Korean)
- Mexico (Spanish)
- Spain (Spanish)
- Switzerland (French, German, Italian)
- Taiwan (Mandarin)
Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?
Yes. You can enable Siri in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in any of the languages that Siri supports. However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers. Find more information regarding which Siri features are supported around the world.
* 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. Phone calls are available only on iPhone.