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JUN 23 2020
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Tip of the Month - June 2020 - Voice Control for iPhone and iPad

Siri is a virtual assistant for Apple devices. The assistant uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations and perform actions. Siri requires an internet connection to turn your speech into text and then perform the action. Voice control on the other hand can work without an internet connection.  It is compatible with the following devices:

-          iPhone (6s or later)

-          iPad air (3rd generation)

-          iPad mini (5th generation)

-          iPad Pro 12.9 (2nd generation or later)

-          iPad Pro (9.7,10.5,11 inch)

-          iPad (6th generation or later)


Setting Up Siri 

1.       Navigate to Settings – Siri and Search

2.       Make sure Press Home for Siri  is turned on

3.       Turn on Allow Siri When Locked to be able to access Siri when your iPhone is locked.

4.       To set up Hey Siri tap the Listen for “Hey Siri” button. This will turn green if you’ve turned Hey Siri on.

5.       Tap Continue

6.       Follow the onscreen instructions which will set up your voice so that Siri recognises you.

7.       Tap done

How to use Siri 

Activating Siri

·         Press and hold the home button to activate Siri and issue her a command

·         If the home button is not accessible, say “Hey Siri” followed by the command

Basic Commands

·         To Call or FaceTime someone simply say “ Hey Siri Call (Insert Name)” or “Hey Siri FaceTime (Insert Name)”

·         To call on Speakerphone say “Hey Siri Call (Insert name) on Speakerphone”

·         To call an emergency number say “Hey Siri Call 111” or “Hey Siri call the fire department”

·         To check voicemail say “Hey Siri Do I have a voicemail?”

·         To text someone say “Hey Siri text (name)” followed by whatever you want to say.

·         To send an email say “Hey Siri send email to (insert name) about (insert subject) and say (insert message)”

·         To hear your new messages or emails aloud say “Hey Siri Read my new messages” or “Check email”

·         To turn certain settings on and off such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Data, and Airplane Mode, say “Hey Siri Turn (on/off) (insert setting)”

·         To open apps simply say “Hey Siri Open (insert app name)

·         To increase and decrease brightness say “Hey Siri (increase / decrease) brightness”

·         To adjust music volume say “Hey Siri Adjust music volume to (insert volume percentage)” or “Turn the volume (up /down)”

·         To schedule a meeting say “Hey Siri Schedule meeting with (insert name) at (insert time)”

·         To cancel a meeting say “Hey Siri Cancel my (insert time) appointment”

·         To set an alarm say “Hey Siri Set an Alarm for (insert time)” or “Hey Siri Set an alarm for (insert hours) from now”

·         To search the app store say “Hey Siri Search the app store for (insert app or genre)”

·         Music controls

o   Say “Play” to play

o   Say “Pause” to Pause

o   Say “Next / Skip” to skip song

o   To select a song to play say “Play (insert artist or song name or playlist or album)”

Setting Up Voice Control 

Voice Control is a new accessibility feature of iOS 13 that lets you speak commands to your iPhone or iPad to do just about anything. From launching apps, adjusting volume, editing text, rebooting your iPhone or iPad, and many more commands, you can do it all with just your voice.

If you’re using Voice control for the first time, you’ll need to set it up by following these steps:

1.       Launch Settings from your home screen

2.       Tap Accessibility

3.       Tap Voice Control

4.       Tap Continue on the “Welcome to Voice 

5.      Tap Continue on the “What can I say?” screen.

6.       You are now able to use voice control on your phone.


Using Voice Control 

1.       Navigate to Settings

2.       Tap Accessibility 


3.     Tap Voice Control

4.       Tap the Voice Control On/Off Switch. When the switch is green the feature is enabled

5.       You are now able to you use voice control on your phone.

Using Voice Control 

Basic Commands

·         ‘Wake up’ Turns on microphone to listen to commands

·         ‘Go to sleep’ Turns microphone off

·         ‘ Show numbers / name’ Turns on overlay letting the user know what actions they can complete

·         ‘Tap number / name’ Completes the action requested exactly as if you had tapped the screen

·         ‘Open (insert app name)’ Opens apps exactly as if you had tapped the screen

·         ‘Show Grid’ Shows numbers in a grid like format, to allow user to select a specific area of the screen as if you had tapped it with your finger

·         ‘Go Home’ Exits whatever app is running and returns to the home screen

·         ‘ Swipe left / right’ Moves between the home page screens

·         ‘Scroll up / down’ Moves the screen up or down as if you are scrolling with your finger

·         ‘Go Back’ Takes you back to the previous screen

·         ‘Show me what to say’ Brings up hints of what commands to use

·         ‘Zoom in / out’ Zooms in or out on desired page

·         ‘Single tap’ Taps screen once as if you had tapped the screen

·         ‘Double Tap’ Taps screen twice as if you had tapped the screen

·         ‘Lock Screen’ Locks the device

·         ‘Mute Sound’ Mutes the device

·         ‘Rotate Landscape / Portrait’ Rotates to selected orientation where applicable

·         ‘Insert phrase’ Types desired phrase into a text field where applicable

·         ‘Select All’ Selects all text where applicable

·         ‘Select (phrase)’ Selects desired Phrase where applicable

·         ‘Delete that’ Delete current selection where applicable

·         ‘ Delete All’ Deletes all text where applicable

·         ‘Delete (phrase)’ Deletes desired phrase where applicable


Tips for looking after your voice when using Siri and voice control 
  • Speak a little slower but conversationally - there is no need to speak in a mono-tone. Speak at your normal pace and tone because speech software will train itself to your voice.
  • Think about what you want to say before you speak because backing up and fixing errors can slow you down.
  • Drink plenty of water and be aware of dehydrating agents (e.g. caffeine, sugary drinks like soda and juice, alcohol, some medications like decongestants and antihistamines) which can dry out throat and can cause irritation and potential damage.
  • Reduce exposure to irritants (e.g. cigarette smoke, allergens etc.) which can increase irritate the vocal folds (voice box).  
  • Rest your voice if it starts to feel strained – DO NOT whisper if your voice is feeling strained as this can cause more damage.
  • You may wish to consider meditation and other relaxing activities to relax the muscles of your throat and mouth.
  • Try to get plenty of sleep.
  • Be aware of the humidity in your environment and use a humidifier if the air is very dry.

If you start to experience pain when speaking, the need to constantly clear your throat, increased coughing, or your voice quality changes (scratchy, rough or you lose your voice) then please contact a speech-language therapist immediately to discuss these concerns. 

References: All commands available on voice control can be found at: https://www.imore.com/everything-you-can-do-voice-control-iphone-and-ipad 

Created by Kadison Casey (Occupational Therapist) in May 2020

To download this Tip of the Month as a PDF, please click here

Siri is a virtual assistant for Apple devices. The assistant uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations and perform actions. Siri requires an internet connection to turn your speech into text and then perform the action. Voice control on the other hand can work without an internet connection.  It is compatible with the following devices:

-          iPhone (6s or later)

-          iPad air (3rd generation)

-          iPad mini (5th generation)

-          iPad Pro 12.9 (2nd generation or later)

-          iPad Pro (9.7,10.5,11 inch)

-          iPad (6th generation or later)


Setting Up Siri 

1.       Navigate to Settings – Siri and Search

2.       Make sure Press Home for Siri  is turned on