Searching and controlling our smartphones has changed forever. When the iPhone first debuted we were comfortable adding in our own appointments and finding our own directions with an app. Apple changed everything when it debuted Siri in the iPhone 4s. Many of us expect our phone to take our commands. What’s more, we expect them to do so without us having to push a button. Apple’s “Hey Siri” feature for iPhones running iOS 9 is iPhone owners talk to Siri hands-free.
With the feature activated, saying “Hey Siri” replaces the long press on the home button. This make it even easier for you to choose the next song to play in your car or do other things when touching the phone just isn’t an option. For example, getting sports scores has never been easier.
Here’s how to turn on Hey Siri on Your iPhone with iOS 9.
Before we begin, there are some things you’ll need first. Hey Siri is a new feature included in this year’s version of iOS, the operating system that runs on iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch. It’s because of this that you must have the iOS 9 update before you can set up Hey Siri. If you haven’t already done so, take your iPhone and plug it into a power outlet. Check to make sure it’s connected to a Wi-Fi connection. Head into the settings to download the iOS 9 update. GottaBeMobile has a rundown of how to get iOS 9 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch without deleting a single thing. The process could take an hour depending on your internet connection, which is why it is very important to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.
iOS 9 already comes pre-installed on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. As such, users who have those devices already have everything they need. Let’s begin.
Unlock your iPhone the way you normally would. If you normally use your finger with TouchID, do so now. Enter your PIN Code now if you don’t use TouchID. If you don’t use any kind of security on your iPhone at all, just slide your finger across the bottom of the screen.
Welcome to the home screen. Look for the Settings app on your home screen. Keep in mind that if you have rearranged your apps the Settings app could be buried in a folder. The Settings app is in the bottom-right corner of our screen in this example.
Welcome to the Settings screen. Naturally, turning on Hey Siri is a feature that can be found inside of Siri’s settings. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t break those out. Scroll down a bit. Look for and tap General. It’s the tenth option in the menu in our example.
In order to use the Hey Siri command in iOS 9, you’ll need to have the personal assistant enabled in the first place. Flip the switch labeled Siri to turn on Siri.
Next, your iPhone will ask you if you’re sure you’d like to enable the personal assistant since she relies on Apple’s servers and your personal information to make life easier for you. Tap on Enable Siri if you’re comfortable agreeing to Apple’s terms.
Look for the Allow “Hey Siri” field and flip the switch to the right side of it.
iOS 9 allows you to keep Siri listening without having to keep your iPhone plugged in at your desk or in the car. Apple has also added a set-up screen for guiding you through the process of getting the voice command going. Tap Set Up Now.
Now your iPhone will have you say some phrases so that it can better understand your voice. Note that you might want to do this in quiet place as your iPhone will pick up any close background noise.
How to Use Hey Siri
Now that you’ve gotten Hey Siri working, it’s time to get to the basics on using it. First and foremost, Hey Siri isn’t a universal replacement for interacting with your iPhone. You’re going to have to interact with your device to get things done that Siri just isn’t capable of yet.
That being said, one of the restrictions Apple dropped with iOS 9 was the requirement that modern iPhones be plugged into a power outlet before Hey Siri can be used. At least with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, you can use the Hey Siri command at anytime – even if your smartphone isn’t plugged in. Don’t worry, turning on Hey Siri doesn’t seem to ruin iPhone battery life. At least, it hasn’t in our experience. Be sure to keep an eye on your battery meter the first few days you have the feature turned on.
Whenever you say “Hey Siri”, your iPhone will be ready for a command. You can tell it to play a certain artist, album or song from your music collection by saying “Play” and the name of the song, artist or album. “Hey Siri, play Beats 1” is a great way to quickly start streaming Apple’s new radio station. Of course, if you don’t have a car with a Bluetooth stereo Siri will play the music through the iPhone’s speakers.
You can also call your different contacts without having to jump through too many hoops. Simply by saying, “Call” and the person’s name. Conversational language like “Hey Siri, I want Chinese.” Siri will get search results for you and give you driving directions and more if they’re needed.