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Siri facts for kids

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Siri on iOS.png
Siri dictates the next game for the Seattle Seahawks, upon the user's request, on an iPhone SE running iOS 11
Developer(s) Apple
Initial release October 12, 2011; 10 years ago (2011-10-12)
Operating system iOS 5 onward, macOS Sierra onward, tvOS (all versions), watchOS (all versions), iPadOS
Available in
Type Intelligent personal assistant

Siri is a virtual assistant application built into certain iOS devices. It hears what the user says and responds by web services. At first, Siri was an app in the App Store, but Apple bought the company that owned it, on April 28, 2010. Siri has been supported by all devices since the iPhone 4S, and is in iOS 5 devices other than the third generation iPad. When iOS 6 came out, the third generation iPad got Siri, as well as the iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th generation), fourth generation iPad, and iPad Mini.

A similar system is built into Android (Google Nest) and Windows Phone (Microsoft Cortana).

Features and options

Apple offers a wide range of voice commands to interact with Siri, including, but not limited to:

  • Phone and Text actions, such as "Call Sarah", "Read my new messages", "Set the timer for 10 minutes", and "Send email to mom"
  • Check basic information, including "What's the weather like today?" and "How many dollars are in a Euro?"
  • Schedule events and reminders, including "Schedule a meeting" and "Remind me to"
  • Handle device settings, such as "Take a picture", "Turn off Wi-Fi", and "Increase the brightness"
  • Search the Internet, including "Define...", "Find pictures of...", and "Search Twitter for..."
  • Navigation, including "Take me home", "What's traffic like on the way home?", and "Find driving directions to..."
  • Translate words and phrases from English to a few languages, such as "How do I say where is the nearest hotel in French"
  • Entertainment, such as "What basketball games are on today?", "What are some movies playing near me?", and "What's the synopsis of...?"
  • Engage with iOS-integrated apps, including "Pause Apple Music" and "Like this song"
  • Handle payments through Apple Pay, such as "Apple Pay 25 dollars to Mike for concert tickets" or "Send 41 dollars to Ivana."

Siri also offers numerous pre-programmed responses to amusing questions. Such questions include "What is the meaning of life?" to which Siri may reply "All evidence to date suggests it's chocolate"; "Why am I here?", to which it may reply "I don't know. Frankly, I've wondered that myself"; and "Will you marry me?", to which it may respond with "My End User Licensing Agreement does not cover marriage. My apologies."

Initially limited to female voices, Apple announced in June 2013 that Siri would feature a gender option, adding a male voice counterpart.

In September 2014, Apple added the ability for users to speak "Hey Siri" to enable the assistant without the requirement of physically handling the device.

In September 2015, the "Hey Siri" feature was updated to include individualized voice recognition, a presumed effort to prevent non-owner activation.

With the announcement of iOS 10 in June 2016, Apple opened up limited third-party developer access to Siri through a dedicated application programming interface (API). The API restricts usage of Siri to engaging with third-party messaging apps, payment apps, ride-sharing apps, and Internet calling apps.

In iOS 11, Siri is able to handle follow-up questions, supports language translation, and opens up to more third-party actions, including task management. Additionally, users are able to type to Siri, and a new, privacy-minded "on-device learning" technique improves Siri's suggestions by privately analyzing personal usage of different iOS applications.


Apple tv gen 4 remote
Siri Remote

Over the years, Apple has expanded the line of officially supported products, including newer iPhone models, as well as iPad support in June 2012, iPod Touch support in September 2012, Apple TV support, and the stand-alone Siri Remote, in September 2015, Mac and AirPods support in September 2016, and HomePod support in February 2018.

Feature film debut

Siri provided the voice of 'Puter in The Lego Batman Movie.

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