iPads and iPhones

Finding Your Voice

Just Start Talking!

Surprisingly, one of the easiest ways to use your device is to simply "talk" to it! In this lesson we'll learn:

  1. How to use voice commands and voice typing

  2. To get Siri assistance with common tasks

  3. When to use voice versus other ways of interacting with your device

Often, using your voice is a more efficient and natural way to control your device. Several voice features help you use your voice to get things done. These features are a great alternative to typing on the tiny keyboard or poking icons on your screen:

  1. Siri is Apple's voice-enabled assistant. She will help you find information quickly and efficiently complete tasks on your device. Siri works best with an Internet connection and has some offline abilities as of iOS 15.

  2. Voice Typing is an alternative way to enter text whenever a keyboard appears on your screen. This feature automatically types what you are saying directly onto the screen.

  3. Google Voice is a voice-enabled assistant that works with any Google Apps you use on your device.

  4. Voice Control is an accessibility feature available in iOS 13 or later. This feature provides limited assistance for controlling your device that also works offline.

Getting Started with Siri

To start playing with Siri, use these helpful steps:

  1. Think. Think about what you want to say before you begin. By forming your question in your mind, you will be ready to give Siri a clear request.

  2. Start. Press and hold the Home button until Siri starts. If your device doesn't have a Home button, press and hold the Start button instead.

  3. Wait. Once you hear two beeps, let go of the button. Siri is awake and listening.

  4. Talk. Talk to Siri. Answer any additional questions when asked

Just Talk to Siri!

Not sure what to ask Siri. Here are some basic things to try:

  • What's the weather like?

  • Set a timer for 3 minutes

  • How many cups are in a litre?

  • Remind me to walk the dog at 7 PM

  • Text Pete "See you soon exclamation point"

  • Call my wife

More ideas:

  • Take a picture

  • Who won the hockey game?

  • Tell me a joke

  • Tell me a story

  • Play me some jazz

  • What time does Costco close?

  • Find coffee near me

Want more ideas? Check out the Siri help page at apple.com.

More Siri Tips

You can also start Siri by just saying, "Hey Siri." We don't recommend this option because it's too easy to activate Siri when you didn't intend to. But if you want to turn it on, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Choose Siri

  3. Turn on Listen to "Hey Siri"

Also, here's our advice on how to make Siri a natural habit for getting things done on your device:

  1. Think of 10 things that you do often

  2. Write out the Siri commands for these tasks

  3. Review and memorize them until they become second nature

  4. Practice and dramatically improve how you use your device!

Voice Typing

Use Voice Typing as a handy alternative anywhere you have to enter text:

  1. Tap an area on the screen where you can enter text.

  2. Touch the microphone symbol on your keyboard.

  3. When you see “Speak Now,” say what you want to be written.

  4. You can also speak the name of any punctuation (e.g. period, question mark).

  5. To finish, tap the microphone to stop listening

Your speech is automatically converted to text on the screen.

Not seeing a microphone symbol on your keyboard? Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Enable Dictation and turn on this setting.