The first major revolution in how we interact with the apps and services that we rely on every day came when Apple released the Siri equipped iPhone 4s. The personal assistant showed that even smartphones, with their advanced multitouch screens that make you feel as if you’re directly manipulating your pictures and more, had some room to get better. Apple innovated again when it added the Hey Siri command.
With the feature activated, saying “Hey Siri” replaces the long press on the home button. This makes it even easier for you to choose the next song to play in your car. You can do other things too, all without having to directly interact with your iPhone. Siri can get you sports scores, change settings and send messages, and you don’t have to tap once.
Here’s how to turn on Hey Siri on Your iPhone with iOS 10.
Setting Up Hey Siri in iOS 10
Before we begin, there are something that you should know.
Hey Siri has been around for some time. Apple didn’t add the feature with iOS 10, it only improved on it. You’ll need iOS 10 loaded on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch before you see on your device what’s shown in this tutorial. That being said, phones, tablets and more stuck on iOS 9 still have Hey Siri capability. It’ll just be in the General Settings area instead of what’s shown here.
Unlock your iPhone the way you usually would. If you 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, press the home button to unlock your device.
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. Scroll down a bit until you see the Siri icon. Tap Siri.
In order to use the Hey Siri command in iOS 10, 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 to turn it on.
iOS 10 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 Continue.
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.
Now that you’re back at the Siri settings area, flip the Access When Locked switch. This will allow you to access most of Siri’s features without having to unlock your phone first.
Using Hey Siri in iOS 10
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 streamlining 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. With the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 7s Plus 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.
When unplugged, your iPhone or iPad has to have Low Power Mode disabled for the “Hey Siri” command to work effectively. This is because Low Power Mode restricts what apps can do in the background.