How to use Siri on iPhone or iPad: A step-by-step guide (2023)

Who wouldn’t want a personal assistant they could call on whenever they needed one? You can achieve it by using Siri on your iPhone! What could be superior? It’s free, and each update makes it smarter.

This comprehensive guide will aid you in configuring Siri on your iPhone and making the most of your virtual assistant. Let’s start now.

How to set up Siri on iPhone and iPad

Make sure your device supports Siri before talking about the setup procedure. If you have an iPhone 6s or later, it should work.

When you first powered on and configured your iPhone, there was an option to set up Siri. However, you could always continue up where you left off if you skipped that section.

To enable Hey Siri:

  1. Just head to Settings on iPhone → Siri & Search.
  2. Toggle on Listen for “Hey Siri”.
  3. A Set up “Hey Siri” prompt will appear. Tap Continue.

4. Read the Siri prompts/commands that will appear onscreen. This will help familiarize Siri with your voice.

5. Tap Done.

Enable Press Side Button for Siri or Press Home for Siri if you want to activate Siri using your iPhone’s Side button or Home button.

Is Siri not working on your iPhone? Read our guide to find ways to fix Hey Siri on your iPhone.

How to change Siri’s language on iPhone

Siri’s default language is English, but it supports many other languages, so you can quickly set it to one you speak at home or one you want to learn. In some languages, Siri even offers a variety of accents for a more individualised experience.

  1. Open Settings → Siri & Search.
  2. Select Language. 
  3. Choose the language you prefer.

4. Hey Siri will be turned off immediately. To retrain Siri to recognise your voice, turn it on.

There is no need to retrain Siri to recognise your voice if you have already trained it to recognise a certain language. As long as Siri has already been accustomed to your voice, this makes changing from one favoured language to another easier.

Change Siri’s voice

  1. Open Settings → Siri & Search → Tap Siri Voice.
    Depending on the language, there are also several varieties and voices to choose from.
  2. For example, under English (United States), there are six varieties or accents and five voices to choose from.

Set your contact info for Siri

Giving Siri some personal information about you can help to personalise your experience and enable commands like “call home” or “give me transit directions to work.”

  1. Begin by creating a contact card of yourself from Contacts if you haven’t yet.
  2. Then go to Settings → Siri & Search → My Information, then look for your name.
  3. To ensure that Siri knows how to pronounce your name, go to Contacts and open your contact card.
  4. Tap Edit → scroll down and select Add field. 

5. Choose a pronunciation name field and type how you’d want Siri to pronounce your name. You can also do this for the rest of your contacts.

Alternatively, you may tell Siri how you’d want it to address you and others.

Allow Siri when iPhone is locked

If you regularly use Siri, it’s not uncommon to blurt out a command to Siri only to hear silence and a black screen. Your iPhone’s locked screen prevents you from going entirely hands-free.

If you want to access Siri from the lock screen, go to Settings → Siri & Search → toggle Allow Siri When Locked. Once turned on, you can start commanding Siri even with your Touch ID or passcode enabled.

How to activate Siri on iPhone and iPad

There are different ways to activate Siri, depending on your preference.

  • How to activate Siri with your voice: If “Hey Siri” is enabled, just say Hey Siri followed by your command to activate Siri using your voice.
  • How to activate Siri with a button: Depending on your iPhone model, you can activate Siri by pressing and holding the Side button. If you own an iPhone with a Home button, press and hold the Home button. 
  • How to activate Type to Siri: Go to Settings → Accessibility → Siri. Turn on Type to Siri. To use this,  activate Siri, then use the keyboard to type your command on the text field.
  • How to activate Siri using Assistive Touch: You can assign Siri to your Assistive Touch’s custom actions. Go to Accessibility → Touch. Tap Assistive Touch and toggle it on. Under Custom Actions, select from Single-TapDouble-Tap, or Long Press and look for Siri in the options.

What can Siri do on iPhone?

Now that you know how to set up and activate Siri, the next step is to use it to make your life easier.

Siri can assist you with so many things. Here are some of them:

  • Tell the time
  • Find restaurants and make reservations for you
  • Search for movie information and identify movie show times
  • Get your movie tickets (US only)
  • Check out nearby local businesses
  • Make phone calls to people on your contacts list or those you dictated
  • Check and play voicemail
  • FaceTime others
  • Send messages to people
  • Read and respond to your messages
  • Add and revise events in your calendar
  • Inform you about your schedules and appointments
  • Check stocks and exchanges
  • Create, view, and update Notes
  • Play music  or iTunes Radio for you
  • Create reminders for you on Reminders
  • Provide information about your contacts
  • Modify your iPhone’s settings, such as screen brightness
  • Enable iPhone features like Do Not Disturb and Airplane mode
  • Check your email
  • Send an email to you
  • Provide you with driving, transit, and walking directions
  • Send an email
  • Tell you about the weather and feed you with up-to-date weather forecasts
  • Set the alarm and timer
  • Answer your questions using your favorite search engine
  • Find cinemas and showtimes
  • Look up sports scores
  • Provide you information about your favorite player or team
  • Look up game schedules
  • Show landmarks in the Maps
  • Control your smart home
  • Search Twitter and tweet for you
  • Post on Facebook on your behalf

Additionally, here are over 100 HomePod Siri Commands you can use if you own a HomePod.

Apart from its built-in apps, Siri is also compatible with a variety of other apps and enables you issue commands on them. You might, for instance, ask Siri to search up a detailed Yelp review of a certain restaurant or to get movie tickets from Fandango.

What to do when Siri misunderstands you?

Siri isn’t perfect, but it’s constantly improving to better serve you. You can always say it again or rephrase it if Siri is having trouble understanding what you’re saying. You can also tell Siri by spelling it out. You could, for instance, say, “Call Sam, S-A-M.”

You can also ask Siri to make a change right now. Prior to sending your emails and messages, Siri always dictates them. Simply say “change it” to Siri to update your message.

You can tap and use the keyboard to edit your requests if you can see them on your screen.

How to change how Siri responds

It’s up to you if you want Siri to respond loudly or silently via an onscreen text. You also have the option to see your request onscreen. This is an excellent option to proofread your commands and Siri’s responses.

To change how Siri responds, go to Settings → Siri & Search  tap Siri Responses, then do any of the following:

  • Change how you want Siri to respond to voice responses: Choose Automatic, Prefer Spoken Responses, or Prefer Silent Responses. Siri will react silently unless you are driving or wearing headphones. Automatic uses the device’s intelligence to decide when it is appropriate to talk automatically.
  • View Siri’s responses on your screen: Tap Always Show Siri Captions to show what Siri says onscreen.
  • See your requests onscreen: Toggle Always Show Speech to show a transcription of your speech onscreen.

How to change which apps appear when you search with Siri

As mentioned above, you can use Siri to search for and launch apps.

  • To change which apps appear when you use Siri, head to Settings → Siri & Search, then scroll down and select an app.
  • You can make the apps appear when you search through Siri or Siri suggestions.
  • Toggle off Learn from this App if you don’t want Siri to learn from how you use the app to give you app suggestions in the future.

How to use accessibility features with Siri

You can use your intelligent personal assistant to enable and disable accessibility features quickly.

For example, you can say, “Turn on VoiceOver.”

How to have Siri announce notifications

If you want to work hands-off, like when driving, you can make Siri announce notifications over the speaker so you don’t have to use your hands to scroll through your iPhone. To do this:

  1. Open Settings → Accessibility.
  2. Select Siri.
  3. Toggle Announce Notifications on Speaker.

How to add Siri shortcuts

You can utilise Siri to start certain operations that you commonly perform using app shortcuts, such as deleting a Specific News from Apple News and numerous additional Apple News shortcuts on your iPhone. You can set up your own Siri shortcuts, but some apps already have them set up.

When a shortcut suggestion appears, select Add to Siri, then follow the on-screen prompts to record a phrase of your choice. This will serve as the trigger for the shortcut to be executed. As an alternative, you may just open the Shortcuts app and add a new one, edit an existing one, or remove one entirely.

Wrapping up…

Siri is an excellent addition to your iPhone and a wise personal assistant. With its assistance, you may swiftly access apps, respond to inquiries, and do difficult tasks like purchasing cinema tickets and booking reservations.

You may modify Siri’s responses and interactions with you, and you can even create shortcuts for your regular routines and tasks. So give it a try; you might be pleasantly surprised by how useful it can be!


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