How to use Siri on your Apple Watch

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 28 Apr 2015

Similar to the iPhone, the Apple Watch includes the powerful vocal commands of Siri. The voice assistant is easily accessible and able to perform a variety of tasks using only spoken voice as the input. Since there is no keyboard, you will interact with Siri and Apple’s voice command infrastructure on a regular basis. You can find out below how to activate Siri on the Apple Watch and learn all the voice-controlled functions that are available on the wrist-worn device.

Activating Siri

You can activate Siri in two ways — either by using your voice or via the Watch’s physical buttons. The vocal method is the easiest to activate — just turn on your Watch by raising your hand or tapping on the screen and then clearly speaking “Hey Siri” along with your request. If you don’t speak a request, just wait a few seconds and Siri will respond with a “How may I assist you?” prompt.  This method works best in quiet areas where the background noise can’t interfere with the “Hey Siri” command.
You also can activate Siri using the Digital Crown. Similar to the iPhone home button, just press and hold the Digital Crown until you feel the vibration of the Watch or see the sound waves at the bottom of the display. Then you can release the Digital Crown and speak your request. If you need to refine your query or want to ask another question, just hold down the Digital Crown again and speak your command. When you are finished with Siri, press the crown once to dismiss the voice assistant and return to the standard Watch interface.

Talking to Siri

Similar to the iPhone, Siri will listen to your request and respond to your commands on the screen. In its current iteration, Siri on the Watch is silent and does not provide any vocal confirmations to your request. Siri only responds with text prompts that you must read or respond to manually. On the Watch, Siri is a voice control system and not a hands-free solution like it is on the iPhone. If you absolutely need Siri voice prompts, you can turn on the VoiceOver accessibility feature, but that also changes the way you interact with Watch in other areas, so it is not an ideal solution.

Available Commands

The vocal commands available on the Watch mirror that of the iPhone and are extensive. You can ask Siri about the following areas:

  • Alarms – Set, change, turn off and delete alarms.
  • Reminders – Create reminders.
  • Clock – Ask for info about dates and times — “What time is it in Berlin?” or “What date is Easter in 2016?”
  • Timer – Set a new timer; show an existing timer; pause, resume and stop a timer in progress.
  • Messages – Send a new message and reply to messages.
  • Calendar- Create a meeting, ask about daily events and upcoming meetings.
  • Phone – Make a phone call.
  • Weather – Ask about current weather conditions, the upcoming forecast and sunrise/sunset times — “What’s the weather tomorrow?”, “When does the sunset today in Berlin?”, “Do I need an umbrella today?”
  • Maps – Get directions and ask about local points of interest.
  • Music – Use Siri to playback specific, play a genre or music or play a selected playlist. You also can shuffle, pause, or skip tracks.
  • Movies – Find movies, reviews and actors in specific films. You also can ask about trivia such as “What was the best picture in 2013?”
  • Q&A – Basic factual information and match calculation. You can ask “How many calories are in a bagel?”, “What is the square root of 128?”, or How high is Mount Everest?”
  • Sports – Siri can provide the latest sports scores, schedule information, team rankings and individual player information
  • Stocks – Ask Siri about individual stock prices as well as the NASDAQ and more indices.
  • App launch – Use Siri to open apps on the Watch.
  • Web image search – Find photos by asking Siri to “Search for images of pandas” or “Show me pictures of penguins,” and so on.

There are certain things Siri can’t do, like read your latest text message. In these cases, Siri will prompt you to use Handoff on the iPhone to complete the task.

If you want to learn more about the Apple Watch, you can view additional tutorials on our Apple Watch Tips and Tricks page  and our Watch Help page. If you have an area you would like to see covered in this ongoing series of Watch tutorials or have discovered your own handy tips or tricks, please share them in the comments.