Siri: Everything You Need to Know

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.

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 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.

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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Google has updated its Assistant app for iOS to support Siri Shortcuts, enabling users to invoke Google's virtual assistant using Apple's virtual assistant, without even having to launch the app. Once the update has been installed, Assistant users are presented with an "Add to Siri" button that lets them record a phrase of their choosing to be used after saying the "Hey, Siri" command. As long as the iOS device is unlocked, users will then be able to access Assistant by combining the two commands. The Siri Shortcuts feature also supports additional phrases that users often use with Google Assistant. As The Verge notes, this opens up possibilities for creating custom voice commands for Google actions, including smart home routines, from within Siri. This isn't the first incidence of virtual assistant crosstalk on Apple devices. Last year, Amazon and Microsoft announced a collaboration that would allow iOS users to access Alexa via the Cortana app, with a "Hey Cortana, open Alexa" voice command. However, in the latter case, iOS users still can't say "Hey Cortana, open Alexa" from the Home screen, or when the device is locked, because Apple only allows third-party virtual assistants to function within their apps. Google's Assistant app is a free download for iPhone and iPad, available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Siri Experts From Apple Attending Natural Language Processing Conference in Belgium Over Next Five Days

As it announced in its Machine Learning Journal, Apple is attending the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing in Brussels, Belgium between today and Sunday, November 4. Apple has set up a booth staffed with natural language processing experts from its Siri team and encourages conference attendees to stop by. Apple has also highlighted an opening for a Siri-related software engineering position within the company, based out of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, where it has a research and development office focused on Siri. "The launch of Siri was a defining moment in the history of Artificial Intelligence," the job description states. "Hundreds of millions of people now use Siri to send a message, play their favourite song or even take a selfie." Earlier this year, The Information published an in-depth look at how Siri has transitioned from one of Apple's most promising technologies into a "major problem" for the company. The report cited a dozen former Apple employees who reflected on Siri's "squandered lead" over rivals Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Apple responded to the report with a statement claiming that Siri is "the world's most popular voice assistant," and touted "significant advances" to the digital assistant's performance, scalability, and reliability.We have made significant advances in Siri performance, scalability and reliability and have applied the latest machine learning techniques to create a more natural voice and more proactive features. We continue to invest deeply in machine learning and artificial