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iOS: Troubleshooting Siri

Symptoms

This article provides information on how best to use Siri, and how to resolve issues you may encounter.

Resolution

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Ensure that your device is connected to the Internet

Siri works by sending your requests to Apple servers. Because of this, Siri sends information such as your voice input, contacts, and location (if you have Location Services turned on) to Apple to process your requests.

For Siri to work, your device must be connected to the Internet using cellular data or Wi-Fi.

Siri not available

Note: In certain instances, Siri may say, "Sorry, I'm having trouble connecting to the network" or ask that you "try again in a little while". If this occurs, check your connection and try again later.

If you wish to use Voice Control while you are not connected to the Internet, turn Siri off from Settings > General > Siri. Make sure to turn Siri back on when you have Internet connectivity and you wish to use it again.

Ensure that Siri is on

If Siri is off, you can turn it on in Settings > General > Siri. When you turn Siri on, make sure it is using the correct language for your region.

If Siri is not behaving as expected, try toggling Siri off and then back on. You can turn it off and on in Settings > General > Siri.

Siri is available only in the following languages, which you can set in Settings > General > Siri > Language:

  • English (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States)
  • French (Canada, France, Switzerland)
  • German (Germany, Switzerland)
  • Japanese (Japan)
  • Spanish (Mexico, Spain, United States)
  • Italian (Italy, Switzerland)
  • Mandarin (China, Taiwan)
  • Cantonese (Hong Kong)
  • Korean (South Korea)

If Siri is not recognizing your requests, make sure Siri is set for the language you are speaking.

If you wish to use a different language for Voice Control, turn Siri off and use Voice Control. You can turn Siri off in Settings > General > Siri.

Enable Location Services for Siri

Siri will work without Location Services. However, a number of features Siri offers require Location Services. If you try to use one of these features, Siri will advise you that it does not know where you are.
Location Services Settings

You can turn Location Services on for Siri by selecting Location Services Settings on the prompt, or by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turning on both Location Services and Siri.

When you first use Siri with another application that uses Location Services, you will need to turn on Location Services for that application. For example, if you create a reminder to call your mom when you get home and Reminders or Siri has not been used before with Location Services, a prompt will appear saying that you will need to turn them on in Location Services Settings.

Reminders would like to use your current location

Some features, such as Maps and local search using Yelp!, work only in the United States. Additionally, requests for information from Wolfram|Alpha work only when the language for Siri is set to English.

Providing Siri with user information

Siri uses relational data from your contact to learn about the people close to you. Information on what you can let Siri know is available in the User Guide.

To set your contact tap Settings > General > Siri > My Info and select your contact.
My Info panel in Siri

If Siri is pronouncing a name incorrectly you can add phonetic first and last names to your contact entries:

  1. Open the Contacts application.
  2. Select the contact that Siri is mispronouncing.
  3. Tap "edit" in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap "add field".
  5. Add phonetic first and last names as needed.
  6. The new fields will appear at the top of the contact. You can then spell out your name phonetically to assist with pronunciation.
  7. When finished making changes to the contact, tap Done in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Be as specific as possible

  • When you ask Siri to do something, be as specific as possible. For example, if you ask Siri to set an alarm, be sure the specify AM or PM.
  • If more than one of your contacts has the same first name, it can help to identify your contact by their full name when speaking with Siri.
  • Specify punctuation, for example: "question mark".

Ensure that Siri can clearly hear you

If Siri is unable to clearly understand what you are saying, make sure your microphones are not blocked.

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.

iPod touch (5th generation)

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

iPad (3rd generation)

Verify that the mic at the top center, above the FaceTime camera, is not blocked.

All models

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

Raise to Speak*

  • To activate Raise to Speak, move your iPhone from a viewing position in front of you up to your ear.
  • Raise to Speak can be activated from any application, the Home screen, or the Lock screen.
  • If you use Raise to Speak while using the onscreen keyboard, dictation will be triggered rather than Siri.
  • Raise to Speak is available only when the iPhone is not in use with a headset or other hands-free solution.

Using Siri with audio accessories

  • Siri will work with many audio accessories, including wired and wireless headsets and car stereos.
  • Find information about troubleshooting Bluetooth headsets and headphones.
  • Find information about troubleshooting car stereo connections.
  • If you are using an audio device that connects using the Dock Connector, Siri will not route through that device. You will need to continue to use your device, wired headset, or Bluetooth headset to interact with Siri.
  • If you are using your iOS device with a device that uses a Remote User Interface, ensure that you control your iOS device using the car stereo or other device. Attempting to control your iOS device directly through either touchscreen, Siri, or Voice Control won't work.

Dictation tips

You can dictate with your iOS device in different languages by using the international keyboard for that language. Add a keyboard by tapping Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.

When you want to change the language used for Dictation:

  1. Tap the globe icon to change to the keyboard for that language.
  2. Tap the microphone icon to start Dictation.

Note: To use Dictation, the keyboard language needs to be a supported language. Dictation is designed to recognize the 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.

Dictation works in most places where you can enter text using the keyboard. Certain text-entry fields in third-party apps or web forms might not support Dictation.

Dictation can be enabled and disabled by disabling Siri in Settings > General > Restrictions. Find more information about using Restrictions.

Additional Information

Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.

* Raise to Speak is available only on iPhone.

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, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Sep 24, 2013
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