Mobility

How to set up Siri in iOS 9

Siri in iOS 9 and the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus has greatly improved, and there's a new setup step that needs to be done before you can utilize the "Hey Siri" voice activation.

Siri
Image: Cory Bohon

In iOS 9 and on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple changed the way the "Hey Siri" voice activation works. While older devices still requires the device to be plugged in to use the voice activation, it now more accurately recognizes your voice to provide better voice feedback.

On the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, you're able to use the voice activated Siri without the device being plugged in. Setting this up is the same on all iOS 9 devices, and it's required before you can use voice activated Siri.

If you've been wondering why the "Hey Siri" functionality isn't working on your device after upgrading to iOS 9, it's because Apple decided to turn this feature off upon upgrade—that is, until you complete the new additional steps.

Here's how to set up this feature on your new (or existing) iOS 9 device.

Setup

To begin, open the Siri settings as follows:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select General | Siri
  3. Once in the Siri settings, enable the option for Siri
  4. Next, enable the option for Allow "Hey Siri" (Figure A)

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Cory Bohon

When upgrading to iOS 9, the "Hey Siri" feature will be disabled by default.

This will open a new dialog (Figure B), and it will give you more information about the set up process. The process takes a few minutes, so be sure that you're in a quiet location where Siri and the microphones will be able to pick up and recognize a few words that are displayed on the screen. When you're ready to continue setup, press the Set Up Now button.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Cory Bohon

Be sure that you're in a quiet environment before continuing with the setup.

When you continue with the setup, Siri will ask you to say a few messages out loud (Figure C), including "Hey Siri" (twice) and "Hey Siri, it's me." Once you've said these message out loud, and Siri is able to correctly hear you, a check mark will appear on the screen, and the next message will appear. When you've finished with set up, you can begin using the "Hey Siri" functionality.

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Cory Bohon

Siri will walk you through the setup process, and by saying select statements, it will learn your voice.

Using "Hey Siri"

When you've completed the set up, make sure the device is plugged in, and then activate Siri by saying "Hey Siri," followed by the command you want Siri to respond to. This will automatically turn on the iOS device and launch Siri.

If you have an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, a new feature lets you activate Siri without the device being plugged in. Simply say "Hey Siri" out loud, and your iPhone will respond by turning on and launching Siri.

How often do you use Siri on your mobile Apple device? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

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About Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

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