How to Activate Voice Commands on Your iPhone

by Joshua Phillips

The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S both run iOS 6 and share many of the same features with one big difference: the voice-command software. On an iPhone 4, the voice command software is called Voice Control and can only be used for simple tasks, such as calling a contact. On iPhones beginning with the 4S and continuing with iPhone 5, the high-profile, voice command software called Siri gives you a much greater level of control. For example, not only can you instruct Siri to send a text message, but also you can dictate the contents of the message. Activating the voice-command software differs on the iPhone 4 and subsequent models.

Voice Control on iPhone 4


Press and hold the "Home" button on your iPhone until the Voice Control screen appears.


Speak a command into your iPhone's microphone. For example, to call a contact, clearly say the word "Call" followed by the contact's name.


Tap "Cancel" to cancel Voice Control and return to your iPhone's home screen.

Siri on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5


Tap "Settings" on your iPhone 4S home screen.


Tap "General" followed by "Siri."


Tap the "On/Off" switch so that it reads "On" to activate Siri instead of the Voice Control function.


Press and hold the "Home" button on your iPhone 4S until the Siri screen appears.


Speak a command to Siri, who will then carry out your command. For example, saying the command "Send a text message to Mom saying hello" sends a text message to your Mother with "hello" as the body of the message.


Press the "Home" button to return to the iPhone 4S home screen.


  • check You cannot use Voice Control when Siri is active.

About the Author

Joshua Phillips has done it all when it comes to video games: strategy guides, previews, reviews, in-depth interviews with developers and extensive public relations work. He has written for websites such as Hardcore Gaming 101 and MyInsideGamer.