What’s new with Siri and Dictation in iOS 16

With every iteration of iOS, Apple is making improvements to the built-in Siri voice assistant, and iOS 16 is no exception. Offline support has been expanded, Siri can finally end calls, and there are improved instructions on when and where to access Siri.


This guide explains what’s new in Siri‌, plus it includes details about dictation updates.

siri

The simplest abbreviations

Siri-activated shortcuts no longer require a setup process to use them. When you download and install an app, the shortcuts can be activated by ‌Siri‌ instantly.

emojis in texts

When you send a message with Siri, you can ask Siri to include an emoji in your message. You’ll need to be specific about the character you’re requesting, and it’s also helpful to say “emoji” after each request so that Siri isn’t confused.

emoji siri iOS 16 messages

cut calls

If you’re having a hands-free conversation with someone and it ends, you can ask Siri to hang up.

Send messages automatically

In the Settings app, the Siri and Search section has a new option to automatically send a message with Siri, which removes the confirmation step you have to do when sending a text via Siri.

Siri Automatically Send Messages iOS 16


Having to agree to every message can be frustrating if you’re having a long conversation with someone and can’t reach your phone to type, so this simplifies the process, plus it works with CarPlay.

It is an optional feature and can be turned off for the car and headphones if desired.

Siri command guidance

If you want to know more about how to make use of Siri, just ask. When you’re in an app or doing something on your iPhone, say “Hey Siri‌, what can I do here?” For details on Siri’s ability.

siri capabilities ios 16


You can also ask ‌Siri‌ for a specific app with a command like ‌Hey ‌Siri‌, what can I do with [insert app name]? ”

More Offline Functions

Siri‌ is able to do more on-device in ‌iOS 16‌ without having to connect to an Apple server, which means there’s a greater range of functions available when you don’t have an internet connection.

Siri can process HomeKit, intercom, and voicemail requests when you’re offline.

Accessibility Features

In the Accessibility section of the Settings app under Siri, there are new options for changing when Siri pauses, making the voice assistant wait until you’ve finished speaking for a longer period of time. The pause time can be set to default, longest, and longest.

Accessibility ios 16 siri


There’s also an “Announce notifications on speakerphone” option to have Siri say notifications out loud, and the “Favorite Spoken Replies” option can be turned on to make Siri speak out loud in situations such as silencing the phone.

Dictate

Apple with ‌iOS 16‌ has completely overhauled the dictation experience, making it easier to switch between voice and touch. When you dictate text on ‌iPhone‌ or iPad, you can tap the text field and type using the keyboard to make edits and insert QuickType suggestions without having to stop the dictation process.

There’s also a new popup indicator available when you’re dictating text, and if you tap on it, you can stop the dictation more quickly.

automatic numbering

As you dictate text, your device will intelligently add punctuation, placing commas, periods and question marks where appropriate.

Your iPhone‌ or iPad‌ will listen to what you say, wait for you to finish, then add commas and periods based on the structure of your words. It’s not always perfect, but it’s better than speaking punctuation as required in iOS 15 and earlier.

Emoji support

As with ‌Siri‌, the built-in dictation feature also supports inserting emojis via voice commands.

Dictation in messages

In the ‌iOS 16‌ Messages app, the dictate icon is located directly in the Messages text box, making it easy to access. If dictation is enabled, you will see a clickable microphone icon that begins setting up dictation.

The Dictation icon replaces the voice message icon that was on the right side of the Message text entry box in iOS 15. If Dictation is not enabled, there is no icon in the text box.

Notes guide

Do you have questions about Dictation and Sir in iOS 16, know of a feature we’ve left out, or want to give feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

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