Siri: Everything You Need to Know

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Siri is the voice assistant on Apple devices, equivalent to Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google's Google Assistant. Siri is available across most of Apple's devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod.

You can ask Siri all kinds of questions, from simple queries about the weather to more complex questions about everything from sports scores to the number of calories in food. Siri can also enable or disable settings, find content, set alarms and reminders, place calls and texts, and so much more.


This guide covers the basics of Siri, including some of the commands you can use to activate Siri, devices that have Siri included, and devices that support more advanced hands-free "Hey Siri" commands.

Activating Siri

On an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌, Siri can be activated by holding the Home button on compatible models or holding the Side button on devices without a Home button. As of iOS 14, on the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌iPad‌, Siri pops up as a small icon at the bottom of the device's display.


On the Mac, you can click on the Siri app icon on the dock or the menu bar, or press and hold the command key and the space bar. On a Mac with a Touch Bar, you can press the Siri icon on the Touch Bar. On 2018 MacBook Air and Pro models or the iMac Pro, you can activate Siri with a "Hey Siri" command.


On the Apple Watch, you can say "Hey Siri" to activate Siri. On Apple Watch Series 3 or later with the latest version of Apple Watch, there's a Raise to Speak feature that lets Siri respond to commands even without the Hey Siri trigger word. Just hold the watch near your mouth and speak. Siri can also be activated by holding down on the Digital Crown.

On first-generation AirPods, a double tap activates Siri, and on second-generation ‌AirPods‌, Siri can be activated with the "Hey Siri" command.

On ‌HomePod‌, say "Hey Siri" or press on the top of the ‌HomePod‌ to activate Siri.

On ‌Apple TV‌, hold down the Siri button on the remote (the button with the microphone) to activate Siri.

Devices Compatible With Siri

Siri is on almost every Apple device, and it's built into macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. You can activate Siri on Macs running macOS Sierra or later, all Apple Watch models, the fourth and fifth-generation ‌Apple TV‌, all modern iPhones, the ‌AirPods‌, and the ‌HomePod‌.

Devices That Support 'Hey Siri' Without Power

Most Apple devices have support for the "Hey Siri" activation command, but more recent iPads, iPhones, Macs, and Apple Watches offer hands-free "Hey Siri" Siri support even when not connected to power. That means you can use the "Hey Siri" trigger phrase at any time to activate Siri.

Compatible devices are listed below:

  • ‌iPhone‌ 6s and later
  • Second-generation ‌AirPods‌ (‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌ or Apple Watch connection required)
  • 5th-generation ‌iPad‌ and later
  • All iPad Pro models except the first-generation 12.9-inch model
  • 5th-generation ‌iPad‌ mini
  • 3rd-generation ‌iPad‌ Air
  • All Apple Watch models
  • ‌HomePod‌
  • 2018 MacBook Pro
  • 2018 ‌MacBook Air‌
  • ‌iMac Pro‌

When multiple devices that can respond to "Hey Siri" commands are available, the devices will use Bluetooth to determine which one should respond to the request so not all of them answer at once. According to Apple, the device that heard you best or the device that was most recently raised or used will respond.

If you have a ‌HomePod‌, the ‌HomePod‌ will often take precedent and respond to "Hey Siri" requests even when other devices that support the feature are nearby.

Countries Where Siri Support is Available

Siri is available in more than 35 countries around the world, including the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many countries in Asia and Europe.

A full list of countries where Siri is available can be found on Apple's Feature Availability website.

Certain Siri features like translations, sports info, restaurant information and reservations, movie information and showtimes, dictionary, calculations, and conversions are limited to a smaller number of countries.

What Siri Can Do

Below is a list of some of the commands and questions Siri is able to respond to, and some of the actions Siri is able to take.

  • Make calls/Initiate FaceTime
  • Send/read texts
  • Send messages on third-party messaging apps
  • Set alarms/timers
  • Set reminders/check calendar
  • Split a check or calculate a tip
  • Play music (specific songs, artists, genres, playlists)
  • Identify songs, provide song info like artist and release date
  • Control HomeKit products
  • Play TV shows and movies, answer questions about them
  • Do translations and conversions
  • Solve math equations
  • Offer up sports scores
  • Check stocks
  • Surface photos based on person, location, object, and time
  • Apple Maps navigation and directions
  • Make reservations
  • Open and interact with apps
  • Find files (on Mac)
  • Send money via Apple Pay
  • Check movie times and ratings
  • Search for nearby restaurants and businesses
  • Activate Siri Shortcuts
  • Search and create Notes
  • Search Twitter and other apps
  • Open up the Camera and take a photo
  • Increase/decrease brightness
  • Control settings
  • Tell jokes, roll dice, flip a coin
  • Play voicemails
  • Check the weather

Siri How Tos

Passive Siri

Siri is an active assistant that you can interact with, but Apple has also integrated Siri into other aspects of iOS and watchOS, allowing Siri to make proactive suggestions that you can act on.

On the ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Apple Watch, Siri can make various kinds of recommendations. When you're running late for a scheduled meeting, for example, Siri might suggest that you call your boss either on the Home screen or when you swipe down to search and access the Siri Suggestions options.


In Messages and Mail, Siri can suggest things like phone numbers or addresses based on what you've typed, and in Safari, Siri can offer up search suggestions. Siri can do other things like suggest ‌HomeKit‌ scenes to activate, suggest a time to leave when you have an event scheduled, suggest events to add to your calendar from your email, and more.

Siri suggestions are all based on your personal device usage habits, so what you see will vary.

There's also a feature in iOS called "Siri Shortcuts," which are shortcuts and automations that let you complete multi-step tasks on your ‌iPhone‌. Siri Shortcuts are so named because Siri will suggest them to you and because you can activate Shortcuts with a Siri trigger word.

Siri's Latest Features

Siri is smarter than ever as of 2020, and can answer a much broader range of questions than before. Some complex requests that might have previously directed you to the web will now receive direct answers from Siri.

Siri in ‌iOS 14‌ can send an audio message on the ‌iPhone‌, and can share an ‌Apple Maps‌ ETA with a contact. Siri is also able to provide cycling directions, which is a new ‌iOS 14‌ feature. For more on Siri in ‌iOS 14‌, make sure to check out our iOS 14 roundup.

Siri Videos

We've done several videos highlighting different Siri features, and our most recent can be found below.


Siri Privacy

Siri does send data back to Apple, but searches and requests are not associated with your identity to keep your personal information safe.

Apple does not sell your data to advertisers or other organizations, and end-to-end encryption is used for all data syncing between your devices and the cloud. Apple does sometimes use Siri recordings for improving Siri's performance, but there's now a toggle to opt out of Siri data collection and usage, which can be found in our how to.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about Siri, know a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

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