What is Siri, and how does it work?

Siri is a virtual voice assistant for Apple products that run iOS, watchOS, macOS and tvOS.

Siri is a voice-controlled virtual assistant for Apple devices, that uses spoken commands to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform queries by integrating with multiple internet services, such as Wolfram Alpha, Yelp, and Trip Advisor.

With continued operation, Siri will adapt to user searches, voice commands, and user preferences. Meaning that over time, results become more individualized.

What can Siri do?

The possibilities with Siri are endless, at its most basic level, Siri can:

  1. Siri can give you the weather forecast for your current location.
  2. Siri can tell you what's on your schedule for today, tomorrow, and next week.
  3. Siri will remind you of any upcoming events in your calendar.
  4. You can ask Siri to find a restaurant near you.
  5. Siri can give you directions.
  6. You can also use Siri to set reminders and alarms.
  7. Siri can turn on your lights using HomeKit.
  8. Siri can answer a question for you.
  9. Siri can play a song or playlist from Apple Music.
  10. You have access to all of your contacts through Siri - just say "call so-and-so" and it will dial their number for you.

History

Siri was originally developed by the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center. Its speech recognition engine was provided by Nuance Communications, with advanced machine learning technologies to function.

Initial release

Siri was first released for iOS as a standalone app in February 2010. Quick to spot its potential, it was purchased by Apple in April. It was then released as part of iOS in October 2011. Since then, Siri’s support has been expanded over most of Apple’s product range. Including the iPad, iWatch, Apple TV, HomePod, and macOS itself.

Future development

With subsequent iOS releases, Apple is slowly adding additional integrated features and (more importantly) opening up access to third-party apps. This should allow users to interact with non-Apple services, such as being able to order a coffee or make hotel reservations using installed apps.

Where is Siri supported?

Siri is supported in many countries around the world. However, there is varied availability for some of the more advanced functionality.

Siri

Australia, Austria, Belgium (Dutch, French), Brazil, Canada (English, French), Chile, China (Cantonese, Mandarin), Denmark, Finland (Finnish), France, Germany, Hong Kong (Cantonese), India (English), Ireland (English), Israel (Hebrew), Italy, Japan, Malaysia (Malay), Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia (Arabic), Singapore (English), South Africa (English), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French, German, Italian), Taiwan (Mandarin), Thailand, Turkey, UK, United Arab Emirates (Arabic), USA (English, Spanish).

Siri Sport

Australia, Austria, Belgium (Dutch, French), Canada (English, French), Chile (Spanish), China (Cantonese, Mandarin), France, Germany, Hong Kong (Cantonese), India (English), Ireland (English), Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Singapore (English), South Africa (English), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French, German, Italian), Taiwan (Mandarin), UK, USA.

Twitter Integration

Australia, Austria, Belgium (Dutch, French), Brazil, Canada (English, French), Chile (Spanish), Denmark, Finland (Finnish), France, Germany, Hong Kong (Cantonese), India (English), Ireland (English), Israel (Hebrew), Italy, Japan, Malaysia (Malay), Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia (Arabic), Singapore (English), South Africa (English), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French, German, Italian), Taiwan (Mandarin), Thailand, Turkey, UK, United Arab Emirates (Arabic), USA.

Calculations and Conversions

Australia, Austria, Belgium (Dutch, French), Brazil, Canada (English, French), Chile (Spanish), China (Cantonese, Mandarin), Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India (English), Ireland (English), Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia (Arabic), Singapore (English), South Africa (English), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French, German, Italian), Taiwan (Mandarin), Thailand, Turkey, UK, United Arab Emirates (Arabic), USA.

Dictionary

Australia, Austria, Belgium (French), Canada (English, French), Chile (Spanish), China (Mandarin), France, Germany, India (English), Ireland (English), Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore (English), South Africa (English), Spain, Switzerland (French, German, Italian), Thailand, UK, USA.

Restaurant Information

Australia, Canada, China (Cantonese, Mandarin), France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA.

Restaurant Reviews

Australia, Canada, China (Cantonese, Mandarin), France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK.

Restaurant Reservations

Canada, Mexico, USA.

Film Information

Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, USA.

Film Showtimes

Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK, USA.

Film Reviews

Australia, Canada, UK, USA.

Want to discover more about using Siri, Apple’s popular virtual assistant? We’ve written a helpful collection of tutorials full of techniques for using apps, dictation, using Siri Shortcuts, and a comprehensive beginner’s guide to activating and using Siri.